Syrian president offers reforms as death toll over 100
The Syria government said on Thursday it may abolish an emergency law in place since 1963 following a week of deadly protests in the southern city of Daraa. Unofficial reports say some 100 people were killed in the riots.
"I am happy to announce to you the decisions made today by the Arab Baath party under the auspices of President Bashar al-Assad... which include... studying the possibility of lifting the emergency law and licensing political parties," the president's media adviser Buthaina Shaaban told a news conference.
Additionally, Al-Assad issued a decree on Thursday raising state employees' wages by 20 to 30 percent, state news agency SANA reported.
Shaaban, who described the Syrian people's demands as "just," earlier on had said 10 people were killed in the city of Daraa.
According to Shaaban, Assad had chaired a meeting of the ruling Baath party during which decisions taken included guaranteeing security for the people and forming a committee to discuss with Daraa residents the recent events. "Every decision that is being made has taken into account the people of Daraa," she conveyed, according to AFP.
"There are some demands and we will respond to these demands. Some of it will be very quickly. Some of it might take time and discussions. "If there is a legitimate demand by the people then the authorities will take it seriously, but if somebody wants to just cause trouble then it is a different story," she warned.
Shaaban also slammed foreign media outlets, saying only Syria's state media provide accurate information.
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