Syria Moves to End 48-Year State of Emergency

Syria’s newly formed Cabinet ratified on Tuesday a draft law to end a 48-year state of emergency even as protesters continued to call on President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

State media announced Tuesday that only Assad’s signature is needed for the legislation to take effect. The lifting of the state of emergency was only one of several other legislations passed on the same day in what appeared to be the beleaguered government’s way of appeasing protesters, who are demanding more freedom and equality in the Arab country. The Cabinet also approved a law that will abolish a special security court that reportedly deprived those accused of their right to fair trial. Another new legislation waiting Assad’s approval is a law that aims to regulate the holding of protests.

Those opposed to Assad, however, have disregarded the government moves, with leading protest leader Haitham Maleh saying that the demonstrations will continue as long as the protesters’ demands are all addressed.