Syria: Pro-US democracy activist charged

An investigating judge has charged a Syrian pro-democracy activist and ex-political prisoner with fomenting sectarian riots, belonging to an outlawed organization and spreading information that aims to weaken national unity, the man's lawyer said. The charges were issued Saturday against Kamal Labwani, a physician and founder of the Democratic Liberal Gathering. Labwani was detained at Damascus airport Tuesday night after returning from a visit to the United States where he met with White House officials. US officials have called for his release. Labwani was questioned for about three hours by the judge in the presence of three defense lawyers, said Anwar al-Bunni, a human rights activist and one of the defense lawyers.