“Canada deplores the nature of the charges leading to this sentencing, as well as the apparent violation of Mr. al-Hassani’s rights to a fair trial and unrestricted access to his lawyers.
“We are also concerned that Mr. al-Hassani’s case is one of a series of arbitrary detentions and unfair sentencess in Syria. Other cases include those of Haitham al-Maleh, a 79-year-old lawyer arrested in October, and Ali al-Abdallah, who was released from Adra prison last week and immediately rearrested.
“Canada is also troubled by Syria’s repeated denial of court access to international observers wanting to monitor the trials of human rights activists.
“Canada urges Syria to release Mr. al-Hassani, Mr. al-Maleh and Mr. al-Abdallah, as well as all other political prisoners. We continue to call on Syria to make a clear commitment to democracy and human rights, including freedom of expression.”