Syrian Intellectuals Call for Reform
By Nabil Al Mulhem
One hundred Syrian intellectuals, writers and journalists issued a statement in Damascus Tuesday calling for an end to the martial laws prevailing in the country, the release of political prisoners, abolishing the emergency law and enacting the new parties’ law so that “a state of political dynamism,” would evolve in the country.
Key signatories to the statement included Tayyeb Tizini, a professor of philosophy at Damascus University, Antoine Maqdissi, the famous Arab thinker, Sadeq Jalal Azem, Burhan Ghalyoon, Michelle Kilo in addition to Riyad Seif, a leading businessman and a Member of Parliament.
“The statement comes in an era characterized with complexity,” said Tizini in an interview with Albawaba.com, adding that there are some established figures in the country who reject reform and insist on keeping things status quo, and the country in isolation.
“Under these circumstances, democracy-oriented intellectuals see that change and modernization are inevitable to get out of the bottle neck,” Tizini added.
According to the figures who signed the statement, there are encouraging signs for change in the new era.
“President Bashar Assad’s inauguration address [to the parliament] sent enough signals for us to tackle such issues in support of what he said… the statement comes in that direction: as a way of safeguarding the trend towards change and modernization at the national level, a task that should be shouldered by the people and the pro-democracy groups.”
The statement crowned a series of activities by the newly formed “supporters of the civil society,” that have so far held discussion, forums and assemblies promoting reforms in Syria.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)