U.S. condemns Syria court decision

April 23, 2008 at 7:58 PM

WASHINGTON, April 23 (UPI) -- The United States Wednesday condemned a Syrian military court for tacking on three years to the sentence of a political prisoner who insulted Syria's president.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement that the court's decision to extend Kamal Labwani's sentence to a total of 15 years in prison "demonstrates the Syrian regime's contempt for human rights, freedom of expression and the rule of law."

McCormack went on to blast Syria's legal system as being "characterized by politically motivated prosecutions and devoid of legitimate standards."

He said the United States called upon Damascus to immediately release Labwani and all other political prisoners, including 13 Damascus Declaration National Council members and political activists Omar Abdullah, Anwar al-Bunni, Aref Dalila, Mahmoud Issa and Michel Kilo, who he said have been "unjustly imprisoned."

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