Fim do “estado de emergência” na Síria

Assad parece estar conseguindo lidar bem com o Levante na Síria. Como já disse, juntamente com o Rei Hussein da Jordânia, talvez o Presidente sírio seja um dos líderes árabes com mair chance de “sobreviver” ao Levante.

Lembro que ele é um líder que ainda conta com a estima de parte significativa da população de seu país e que é percebido por muitos como símbolo de juventude e renovação. De toda maneira, é bom que se permaneça atento: apesar do fim do “estado de emergência”, também foi aprovada a lei que regula “os protestos pacíficos”.

A crise ainda não terminou na Síria, assim como persiste no Iêmen, na Líbia e em outros países árabes. 2011 será um ano inesquecível para o Oriente Próximo e o Norte da África…


Syria government approves lifting 48-year emergency rule


REUTERS, 19/04/2011 – 5:04pm EDT
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syria’s government passed a draft law on Tuesday to lift 48 years of emergency rule, a concession to unprecedented demands for greater freedom in the tightly-controlled Arab country.

But the move was coupled with new legislation requiring Syrians to obtain a government permit to demonstrate. Defiant protests continued in any case, and three more protesters were shot dead in the tinderbox city of Homs, rights activists said.

Demonstrators took to the streets in the city of Banias after the announcement of an end to the state of emergency and opposition leaders said they would not relent until their other demands, including the release of political prisoners, freedom of speech, and a multi-party system, were also met.

The state news agency SANA said the cabinet ratified draft legislation, which must still be signed by President Bashar al-Assad, “to end the state of emergency in Syria.”

Emergency rule, in place since the Baath Party seized power in a 1963 coup, gave security organs almost blanket power to stifle dissent through a ban on gatherings of over five people, arbitrary arrest and closed trials, opposition figures say.


Inspired by uprisings sweeping the Arab world, thousands of people have rallied across Syria demanding reforms, posing the most serious, sustained challenge to Assad’s rule. Rights groups say more than 200 people have been killed in the unrest.

The cabinet, which has little power and rubber-stamps Assad’s orders, also passed a law to abolish a special security court which human rights lawyers says violates the rule of law and the right to fair trial.

But it also passed legislation to “regulate the right of peaceful protest.” Permission from the Interior Ministry will be needed to demonstrate in Syria, the news agency said.

One activist dismissed the cabinet decision, saying Assad himself could have lifted emergency law immediately. “The government doesn’t need to issue anything … It’s in the hands of the president to lift it,” Ammar Qurabi said.

“This (announcement) is all just talk. The protests won’t stop until all the demands are met or the regime is gone,” leading opposition figure Haitham Maleh, an 80-year-old former judge, told Reuters.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague described the cabinet decision as a “step in the right direction … but only one part of a wider package of necessary reforms.”

“The Syrian authorities should do more to ensure the Syrian people experience real political progress without delay,” Hague said in a statement. “I call on the Syrian security forces to exercise maximum restraint, and on the Syrian authorities to respect the people’s right to peaceful protest.”

The cabinet decision came hours after activists said Syrian forces opened fire to disperse protesters in Homs, where 17 people were killed on Sunday night.

Rights activists said at least three more protesters were killed in the latest shooting early on Tuesday. SANA reported that four people, two policemen and two gunmen, were killed in clashes in the city.

The government says Syria is the target of a conspiracy and authorities blame the violence on armed gangs and infiltrators supplied with weapons from Lebanon and Iraq, an accusation that opposition groups say is unfounded.


The protests, the most serious since an armed revolt by Islamists in 1982, comprise all shades of society including ordinary Syrians, secularists, leftists, tribal figures, Islamists and students.

Assad, who has ruled for 11 years since assuming power on the death of his father Hafez al-Assad, has responded with a combination of limited concessions and fierce crackdown.

In a sign that authorities would offer no ground to protesters, the Interior Ministry on Monday night described the unrest as an insurrection by “armed groups belonging to Salafist organizations” trying to terrorize the population.

Salafism is a strict form of Sunni Islam that many Arab governments equate with militant groups like al Qaeda. Assad and most of his inner circle are from Syria’s minority Alawite community, who adhere to an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.

“Not Salafist, not Muslim Brotherhood. We are freedom seekers!” hundreds of people chanted in Tuesday’s demonstration in Banias, in response to the Interior Ministry statement.

Dozens of medical students also demonstrated at Damascus University’s college of medicine earlier on Tuesday chanting “Stop the massacres. Syria is free. Syria is dignity,” two rights campaigners in contact with the students said. They said security forces beat the students to break up the protest.

In Deraa, where the protests first broke out and which has seen most bloodshed, residents said on Tuesday that security forces who stayed off the streets in recent days were being reinforced, possibly preparing for a move to reassert full control over the restive Sunni Muslim town.

(Additional reporting by Yara Bayoumy and Mariam Karouny in Beirut, Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman and Adrian Croft in London; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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