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Syrian activists divided on first "licensed protest" by government

Arab World Materials 23 May 2011 15:18
Syrian protesters were divided on Monday over the first protest to take place in the country that was given a green light from the government since unrest began in mid-March.
Syrian activists divided on first "licensed protest" by government

Syrian protesters were divided on Monday over the first protest to take place in the country that was given a green light from the government since unrest began in mid-March, DPA reported.

The silent protest was scheduled to be held later on Monday in Damascus, where protesters will hold candles to pay tribute to those killed over the past two months.

According to rights groups, almost 1,000 people have been killed since the demonstrations calling for greater freedoms, political reforms and the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad began.

"This is the first licensed protest to mourn the martyrs," one activist said. "We need unprecedented participation from you."

However, others objected and called on Syrians not to take part and described it as a "trap."

Syrian security forces launched a new wave of arrests on Monday in the town of Tafs in the southern Hauran Plain, activists said.

Fresh European Union sanctions were expected to be announced against Syria at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, with President al-Assad expected to top the list of those placed under restrictive measures in his country.

Al-Assad took office in 2000, following the death of his father, president Hafiz al-Assad.

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