Syrian protestors stage demonstration calling for more ''freedom'', release of prisoners
Over 150 Syrian pro-democracy activists staged a sit-in Wednesday outside the Prime Minister's office in downtown Damascus, calling for more freedoms, the release of political prisoners and the abolition of the country's emergency law.
The sit-in was held on the 55th anniversary of the signing of the International Human Rights Declaration, and protesters said they had gotten permission to deliver a letter to Prime Minister Naji Otari for the occasion.
In the letter, delivered through Otari's secretary, Maher Fahd, they called on the government "to lift the emergency state and martial laws, annul exceptional courts, release detainees and political prisoners and allow public freedoms."
The letter was signed by the Committees for Reviving Civil Society and 14 other human rights and political groups.
"The condition of human rights (in Syria) is still in continuous deterioration," the Committees for the Defense of Democratic Freedoms and Human rights said in a statement issued during the sit-in, cited by AP.
The statement accused authorities in Syria of "security harassment" of civic organizations seeking to play an "effective and positive" role in society.
The Human Rights Association in Syria also criticized Syria's "poor human rights record".
It should be noted that President Bashar al-Assad, who took office in 2000, has released hundreds of political prisoners and passed laws aimed at liberalizing the economy. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)