Syria forms committee to study ending emergency law

Damascus, Mar 31: Syria is forming a judicial committee to study the abolition of Syria's emergency law, in force since 1963, the state news agency reported today.

"Under a directive by President Bashar al-Assad, a judicial committee has been formed to prepare a study with the aim of abolishing the emergency law," written in December 1962, read a brief report on the SANA news agency.

Assad is facing domestic pressure unprecedented in his 11-year rule as protests demanding greater freedoms in the country, which has been in a state of emergency for close to 50 years, enter their third week.

Protesters have called for more rallies across Syria after weekly Muslim prayers on Friday.

Activists estimate more than 130 people have been killed in clashes with security forces, mainly in the southern governorate of Daraa and the northern city of Latakia.

Officials put the death toll at closer to 30.


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