Assad officially cancels emergency law
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday issued decrees ending 48 years of emergency law, abolishing state security courts and allowing citizens to protest peacefully, state television reported. Assad ended the emergency law imposed when the ruling Baath Party seized power in 1963 as well as the state security courts.
Another decree said citizens would be granted "the right to peacefully demonstrate."
The moves come one day ahead of massive protests planned by opposition forces across Syria. Amnesty International claims about 220 people have been killed in the crackdown on the protests, which erupted a month ago.
The emergency law restricts many civil liberties, including public gatherings and freedom of movement, and allows the "arrest of anyone suspected of posing a threat to security."