The international community is concerned about the situation in Syria. The United Nations said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke by phone with President Assad.
Human Rights Watch, among other groups, said Thursday that around three dozen people were killed in clashes in a 48-hour period.
“Syria’s security forces are showing the same cruel disregard for protesters’ lives as their counterparts in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
“President Bashar al-Assad’s talk about reforms doesn’t mean anything when his security forces are mowing down people who want to talk about them.”
The government announced a number of measures that apparently addressed protesters’ demands. Among them are decrees to cut taxes and raise government workers’ salaries by 1,500 Syrian pounds ($32.60 US) a month and pledges to provide more press freedoms, increased job opportunities and curbs on government corruption.
The government said it will form a committee “to contact and listen to citizens in Daraa.”
It also said it would study lifting the country’s emergency law and adopting new legislation that would license political parties.
Syria’s emergency law has been in effect since 1963. It allows the government to make preventive arrests and override constitutional and penal code statutes. It also bars detainees who haven’t been charged from filing court complaints or from having a lawyer present during interrogations.
Why not- brutal dictator slaughtering freedom loving protestors wanting political reform, in the Middle East, we already have lots of troops and a NATO command structure in place for Libya we could use.