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Federal Foreign Office criticizes new sentence for Syrian opposition activist

23.04.2008 - Press release

The first criminal chamber of the Military Court in Damascus today (23 April) sentenced the Syrian opposition activist Dr Kamal Labwani to a further three years in prison, accusing him of spreading propaganda and false information. Kamal, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Union in Syria, was sentenced to twelve years' imprisonment on 10 May 2007. As a result of today's ruling, he faces a total of fifteen years in prison. The German EU Presidency called on Syria to reverse the judgement on 11 May 2007.

This additional sentence for Dr Labwani contravenes the obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Syria ratified in 1969. Dr Labwani is committed to strengthening democracy and freedom of opinion in Syria through peaceful means. In addition, there are doubts as to whether the accused was given a fair trial. The Federal Government therefore again urges the Syrian judiciary to revise the decision.

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