U.S. unsure new Syria law will be improvement

WASHINGTON Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:57pm EDT

People gather at Clock Square during a demonstration in the center of the Syrian city of Homs, April 18, 2011. REUTERS/Handout

People gather at Clock Square during a demonstration in the center of the Syrian city of Homs, April 18, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Handout

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is unsure that Syria's draft law to lift emergency rule will be less restrictive, a State Department spokesman said on Tuesday.

Syria's government passed a draft law to lift 48 years of emergency rule. State news agency SANA said the cabinet ratified draft legislation which must still be signed by President Bashar al-Assad.

"It's unclear whether they've passed legislation to lift the emergency law, but that a new law requiring protesters that -- to receive permission from the Interior Ministry before holding demonstration may be -- may be in play here," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

Syria's cabinet also passed legislation to "regulate the right of peaceful protest" and Interior Ministry permission will be required to demonstrate in Syria, the state news agency said.

In light of some of the comments from Syria's interior minister, "this new legislation may prove as restrictive as the emergency law it replaced," Toner said.

Toner also said that violence overnight by soldiers firing on protesters continued "to raise serious concerns and it remains clear that the Syrian government needs to urgently implement broader reforms and ... to cease violence against peaceful protesters."

(Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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Comments (2)
phuyayyay wrote:
The State Department is unsure if the lifting of the Emergency Law will be less restricting. Under Obama, State apparently doesn’t know anything. They got on the wrong side of the uprising in Egypt, they have walked away from the Libyan revolt because they don’t know the allegiance of the rebels and they haven’t a clue about what is going on in Syria. Well, it is well known Syria has and is causing problems in the Middle East and that the country is no friend of Americas. That is all State needs to know. There next plan should be to make life miserable for the dictator Assad. At the conclusion of the Syrian uprising, if Assad is not taken down, he should be greatly weakened because of us.

Apr 19, 2011 4:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
KiazerSouze wrote:
Who cares? Move on. Do you people think this is really newsworthy? This Sunday and some words of respect from the President are more newsworthy than this stupid article.

Apr 19, 2011 4:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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