SYRIA - Blogger to be tried on 17 March for posting critical comments



    MONTREAL, Feb. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Blogger Tariq Biasi, who has been
detained since 7 July 2007, denied posting comments critical of Syria on a
website when he was questioned by a Damascus state security court on 22
February. The authorities identified him as the author of the offending
comments on the basis of the connection through which they were posted, but he
told the court he shared it with six other subscribers including an Internet
café.
    Aged 22, Biasi is to be tried on 17 March on charges of "undermining
national sentiment" and "publishing false information" under articles 285 and
286 of the criminal code, which carry a maximum sentence of five years in
prison.

    Reporters Without Borders reiterates its call for his release.




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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