REFILE-Syria jails schoolgirl blogger for 5 years

Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:23pm GMT

* Molouhi motionless as judge reads sentence

* U.S. says spy charges baseless

* Jailing independent figures hallmark of modern Syria

(Fixes dateline to Feb 14 from Jan 14)

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

DAMASCUS, Feb 14 (Reuters) - A special Syrian security court sentenced a teenaged blogger on Monday to five years in jail on charges of revealing information to a foreign country, despite U.S. calls to release her, rights defenders said.

The long jail term for high school student Tal al-Molouhi, under arrest since 2009 and now 19 years old, is another sign of an intensifying crackdown on opposition in Syria in the wake of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, they said.

Molouhi had written articles on the Internet saying she yearned for a role in shaping the future of Syria, which has been under the control of the Baath Party for the last 50 years.   Continued...

Powered by Reuters AlertNet. AlertNet provides news, images and insight from the world's disasters and conflicts and is brought to you by Reuters Foundation.