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Syrian government lifts state of emergency

Bashar al-Assad’s regime ends emergency law in place since 1963 while protests continue.

The Syrian government has surrendered to one of the main demands of protestors across the country amid increasing social tension and violence. The government abolished the state of emergency laws which had been in place in the country since 1963, according to the official press agency, Sunna.

President Bashar al-Assad ordered a parliamentary commission to modify the law last March, but still has yet to sign the new legislation into law.

The state of emergency still restricts the population's freedom of associations and its right to protest, nearly 50 years after its introduction. The law also allows the government to spy and intercept telecommunications.

Earlier this morning, close to 5000 protesters were met by a fierce police reaction in the western city of Homs. As the security forces dispersed the rally, there were reports of gunfire and teargas shots on the population and local sources mentioned there were at least four casualties. The demonstrators had planned to occupy a local square and to remain there until Bashar al-Assad's fall.