Journalists in prison as of December 1, 2009

Syria: 1

Karim al-Arbaji, freelance
Imprisoned: June 7, 2007

Al-Arbaji, administrator of the online forum Akhawia, languished in prison until September 2009, when he was finally sentenced to three years in prison by a State Security Court for "spreading false news that weakened the national sentiment," in accordance with Article 286 of the Syrian penal code, according to news reports.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said al-Arbaji's alleged confessions were extracted under torture and other forms of duress. The Syrian Center for Media and Free Expression described the case against him as baseless.

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