Syrian opposition calls for further reform

Syrian human rights activists said on Friday they will not be placated by a presidential decree ending an almost five-decade long state of emergency in the country and will continue to protest, regional media said.

Police used tear gas to disperse protests in the historic Midan district of Damascus on Friday as thousands of people rallied in the south and northeast of the country, Al Arabiya News said. Eyewitnesses said they heard gunfire and other agencies reported casualties.

In response to protests that have raged in the middle-eastern country since mid-March, the Syrian government lifted on Tuesday an emergency law imposed by the Baath party shortly after coming to power in 1963.

Prominent Syrian opposition figure, lawyer and activist Haitham al-Maleh, who was released from prison last month, told Al Jazeera activists where holding out for reforms of the judicial system and the police force.

“Lifting the emergency rule will change nothing because the security services are not bound by any law,” prominent blogger Malath Omran told Al Arabiya. “The Syrian people has no faith whatsoever in the regime.”

An estimated 80 to 200 people have been killed in protests and clashes in Syria, inspired recent revolutions in nearby Tunisia and Egypt.

A new government, formed in Syria last week, has pledged to carry out economic and political reforms.

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti)

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