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Syrian government to lift emergency law

The situation in Syria is taking an interesting turn today, according to this Al Jazeera article.  As we’ve said before, many of the protesters in Syria are more interested in winning greater freedoms rather than achieving a full regime change.  Lifting the emergency law is a great step in that direction.

The emergency law imposes restrictions on public gatherings and movement and authorises the arrest of “suspects or persons who threaten security”.

It also authorises the interrogation of any individual and the surveillance of personal communication as well as official control of the content of newspapers and other media before publication.

The state also announced a series of reforms, including the release of detainees and plans to form new laws on the media and licensing political parties.

Shaaban added that there will be a debate in parliament regarding the establishment of political parties.

The article also describes a frightening situation, where the government is warning citizens to be wary of calls for rallies that are actually being set up by pro-government factions in order to confront those who attend.  That may be a fair warning, but it might also be a clever strategy on the part of the government to limit turnouts for upcoming protests.

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