Syria: final decision to cancel state of emergency

The final decision on lifting the state of emergency has been taken in Syria, announced a spokesman for President Bashar Assad. According to her, soon the leader will deliver an address to the nation, offering an assessment of the events unfolding in the country.

Previously, authorities recognized “the validity and legality” of the protesters’ demands for reforms in Syria.

The state of emergency had been in force since 1963, with the advent to power of the Arab Baath Socialist Party. Its removal will lift a ban on mass gatherings and weaken censorship.

According to estimates of human rights defenders, nearly two thousand political prisoners could be released from detention. 

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