Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on Thursday ratified a law to end 48 years of emergency rule in an attempt to defuse angry protests against his 11-year rule by people demanding greater freedoms.
State TV said Assad signed the legislation “to end the state of emergency in Syria.”
Inspired by uprisings gripping the Arab world, thousands of Syrians have held demonstrations across the country demanding reforms, presenting Assad with the most serious challenge to his governance. Rights groups say more than 200 people have been killed.
Meanwhile, prominent Syrian opposition figure Haitham Al-Maleh dismissed the decree lifting emergency law and said the move was “useless” without an independent judiciary and accountability for security apparatus.
“The problem is that the ruling elite and the security have put their hands on the judiciary and that other legislation they had introduced exempt the security forces from being held accountable to law,” said Maleh, a Lawyer and former Judge.
Maleh, 80, spent most of his professional life campaigning for an end to emergency law imposed by the Baath Party when it took power in 1963 and for restoring what he terms the rule of law Syria's Baathist rulers destroyed.