Syrian goverment approves ending 48-year emergency law
The Syrian government Tuesday approved a draft legislation to lift the 48 years old state of emergency rule, which was topping the protesters' demands, Xinhua reported according to SANA news agency.
The cabinet, at the same time, approved a draft legislation to abolish the state security court, created under Syria's 1963 emergency laws, and approved a draft law to allow peaceful demonstrations, according to the report.
The state security court, whose cases are often heard by military personnel rather than civilian judges and whose decisions cannot be appealed, tries political cases.
The new measures are part of a series of moves made by Assad in response to mounting calls for reforms, including reforming a new cabinet headed by former Agricultural Minister Adel Safar and releasing hundreds of political detainees in addition to sacking corrupt officials.
The state of emergency rule has given police unlimited powers of arrest, allowed indefinite detentions without charges, imposed restrictions on public gatherings and surveillance of telecommunications and strict control over the media. It also allows civilians to be tried in military courts.
Syria has been gripped by month-long protests, demanding sweeping reforms.