BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) A former Sudbury resident convicted on several terrorism-related charges received an award at a Boston church on Sunday.
The Metrowest Daily News reports that Tarek Mehanna was given the 36th annual Sacco and Vanzetti Social Justice Award at the Community Church of Boston for "his struggle as a seeker of justice."
Mehanna's family reportedly appeared at the event on Sunday to accept the award on his behalf.
Mehanna is serving 17 1/2 years in prison after being convicted in 2011.
Prosecutors alleged that Mehanna traveled to Yemen to seek training at a terrorist camp. They also accuse Mehanna of translating texts for terrorist organizations.
Mehanna's lawyer described Mehanna to the jury in his 2011 trial as a young man from a good family "with a normal American upbringing" who was simply venting his anger over the U.S. invasion of Iraq. His attorney also claimed Mehanna's online activities amount to free speech protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The Sacco and Vanzetti award is named after two Italian immigrants who were convicted and sentenced to death for the murders of two men during the 1920s.
In 1977, Mass. Gov. Michael Dukakis released a proclamation saying the pair was wrongly tried and convicted. The former governor said the trial and appeals were "permeated by prejudice against foreigners and hostility toward unorthodox political views."
To read more: The MetroWest Daily News