US urges Syria to lift travel ban on ex-lawmaker

The United States urged Syrian officials to allow dissident former legislator Riad Seif to leave the country to receive medical treatment abroad. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the Syrian government should "ensure that its domestic laws and practices are in keeping with international human rights obligations." In a statement, McCormack said Syria should "immediately and unconditionally lift the travel ban on Riad Seif and all other Syrians who are prevented from leaving their own country because they dare to call for political reform." He said the former member of Syria's parliament, who has spent time in jail for criticizing President Bashar Assad's government, needs urgent medical treatment, but said nothing about his condition.