The White House demanded that Syria release pro-democracy activist Kamal Labwani and stop harassing those who are trying to bring democratic reforms to the Middle Eastern nation.
Human rights groups said Labwani, a physician and founder of the Democratic Liberal Gathering, was arrested Tuesday night upon his arrival at Damascus airport. Labwani had just returned from the United States, where he met with the president's deputy national security adviser, J.D. Crouch, at the White House.
Presidential press secretary Scott McClellan issued a statement Thursday that said the White House is deeply disturbed by reports of Labwani's arrest.