Teen Blogger Sentenced in Syria

A 19-year-old Syrian blogger accused of sharing secrets with the CIA has been sentenced to five years in prison this week, a Syrian foreign ministry official reported. On Monday, Tal al-Mallohi—who was jailed by Syria's security forces without charges in December 2009—was brought chained and blindfolded into a court off-limits to the public to hear the verdict of her case. Bushra Kanfani, a spokesperson for the Syrian foreign ministry, charged that Mallohi had been involved for four years with American operatives who had asked her to gather information about Syrian politicians and security officers, and that she was involved in an assassination attempt on a Syrian army officer. Kanfani said the sentence has nothing to do with her blog of social commentary about the suffering of Palestinians. The young woman's sentence has sparked an outcry from Washington and human-rights associations for her immediate release.