Syria's Assad May End Emergency Rule Soon
The country itself has been under a state of emergency since 1963. Assad’s father gained the presidency in 1970 through a series of royal coups, and had a reputation of crushing any dissent towards those in power.
There is no independent confirmation that Assad will make such an announcement, and many say lifting the emergency sanctions do not mean much for the people of Libya.
The AFP reported:
"For lifting the state of emergency to have a real impact, President Assad will have to dismantle the state security court and other institutions created over the past 30 years to enforce the repressive rule," said Nadim Houry, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.
"While it would be a positive step forward, a lot more reforms are needed to provide Syrians with the freedom they deserve."
A key step forward would be to set up an independent body to supervise Syria?s multiple infamous security agencies and enact laws in compliance with international human rights norms, Houry said.
Syria's emergency law imposes restrictions on public gatherings and movement and authorises the arrest of "suspects or persons who threaten security"
The unrest in Syria continued as an estimated 4,000 protestors filled the streets of the southern city of Daraa, calling for political freedom. When the protests would not break up, security forces reportedly fired tear gas into the crowd.
"Assad is being subjected to internal and external pressures. He has prepared a plan to give the impression to public opinion that he has begun reforms," Homsi, who was jailed for five years for demanding broader political freedoms, told Reuters from exile in Canada.
"Instead of emergency law, there'll be an anti-terrorism law," he said, citing information from "people close to the Assad regime."
Assad has been facing the biggest challenge to his rule since popular protests demanding greater freedoms and an end to corruption erupted two weeks ago and spread to parts of the capital Damascus and the coast.
Assad's adviser Bouthaina Shaaban said after the protests took the ruling elite by surprise that emergency law would be lifted but has not given a timetable.