The trial of activist Kamal Labwani reopened Monday and was adjourned to July 16 according to a statement by the National Organization for Human Rights (NOHR). (Arabic. Elaph, 6/19/06).
NOHR's Ammar Qurabi said that the judge reaffirmed the charge against Labwani of "contacting a foreign state with the intent of initiating aggression against Syria," a crime punishable by death. Qurabi added in the statement that Labwani requested the foreign state be identified. The judge replied it was the United States. (UPI, 6/19/06).
Abdel Rahim Ghamazeh, a member of NOHR's board of directors and one of Labwani's defense lawyers, said that the defense demanded the replaying of Labwani's interview on Al-Hurra TV. Ghamazeh added that the attorney general is considering the call to increase pressure on Syria as tantamount to contacting a foreign state in order to instigate aggression against Syria.
Labwani was arrested last November after visiting the US and meeting with US officials. The recently passed European Parliament resolution mentioned Labwani by name and asked for the release of all political prisoners. President Bush had also asked for Labwani's release last year, right after his arrest.
Labwani's case was again raised in the US at the Congressional testimony of the Reform Party's Farid Ghadry.