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Alexandre Bissonnette 's parents say that a very severe punishment denies all hope for rehabilitation.

Manon Marchand and Raymond Bissonnette questioned the gravity of at least 40 years for his son Alexandre Bissonnette on Friday evening and announced an open letter on Monday evening condemning Crown for encouraging "a desire for revenge".

On Friday Alexandre Bissonnette, 29, was sentenced to at least 40 years in prison for murdering six people at the Quebec City Mosque two years ago. He will be 67 before he gets paroled.

Bissonnette's parents pointed out that the minimum sentence of 40 years is the most stringent sentence imposed in Québec since the death penalty was abolished in 1976. "We think this is a very serious punishment.

The crown, which pursued six consecutive periods of 25 years in parole, contributed to avoiding the abolition of the death penalty and ending all hope for rehabilitation.

"Why do not you see prisoners as the faintest hope?" They ask.

Bissonnette's parents last summer said when they first spoke publicly until the last few years of intimidation and harassment had affected their son's mental health too late.

In an open letter on Monday, they pointed out that their son had "been subjected to psychological and physical harassment that had a devastating effect on his personality."

They say that the solution to prevent another tragedy committed by their son is "to better understand and harass bullying rather than tie someone forever".

Possibility of appeal of sentence

Legal experts said the ruling of Quebec Superior Court Judge François Huot could be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Imam Hassan Guillet, a Quebec Muslim Cultural Center, sympathized with parents of Alexandre Bissonnette after he sentenced his brother.

"They are destroyed just like us," Guillet said Friday in court.

Survivors of Quebec City Mosques and families of those killed have expressed disappointment that Bissonnette should finally return to victims' children in 40 years after they can apply for parole.

Read the full letter below for Manon Marchand and Raymond Bissonnette.

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