SYRIA: FAMED OPPONENTS SENTENCED TO DEATH
July 23, 2015: The Syrian government has reportedly sentenced five leading opponents of the regime, including dissident intellectual Michel Kilo and Al-Jazeera journalist Faisal al-Qassem, to death in absentia.
âExecution rulings were issued against Faisal al-Qassem, Michel Kilo, Mohammad Habash, Youssef Qardawi and Adnan al-Arour,â the pro-regime Syria Steps outlet reported earlier in the week.
All five of the men are leading anti-Syrian regime personalities based outside of the country: Habash is a famed moderate Islamic scholar who served in Syriaâs parliament before defecting; Arour is a firebrand cleric from Hama who is now a popular TV figure in Saudi Arabia; Qassem is an influential Al-Jazeera host from Suweida; Kilo is an intellectual and human rights activist who hails from Latakia.
Meanwhile, Qaradawiâthe only Egyptian in the listâis a top Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated intellectual who hosts the Sharia and Life program on Al-Jazeera, which is watched by tens of millions of viewers across the Arab world.
While the verdict against them was not published in any official Syrian news agencies, Syria Steps said that it had âobtained copies of a number of verdicts issued by the Court for Cases of Terrorism that order the execution of people who have incited, and taken part in, the letting of Syrian blood.â
According to Syria Steps, the five dissidents were also proven to have âsupported the striking of the nationâs structure by spreading division through messages of incitement and sectarian conflict.â
âIt was proven that all those sentenced to death, through appearing on the biased stations of sedition, had incited Syrians to engage in sectarian conflict and called on them to take up arms.â
âThe court issued rulings against the aforementioned [for] penalties ranging from imprisonment to death.â
The report added that the government had also sent a communique to all ministries and their subsidiary bodies ordering âthe transfer of any property belonging to the sentenced individuals to state ownership.â (Sources: now.mmedia.me, 23/07/2015)