Tuesday 23 May 2017

Assad set to announce Syria reforms

Syrian President Bashar Assad has blamed 'conspirators' for the wave of protests against his authoritarian rule (AP)
Syrian President Bashar Assad has blamed 'conspirators' for the wave of protests against his authoritarian rule (AP)

Syrian President Bashar Assad is to address the nation for the first time since unprecedented protests erupted in this tightly controlled country.

Mr Assad is expected to announce constitutional amendments, including an end to nearly 50 years of widely despised state of emergency laws that give the regime a free hand to arrest people without charge.

The much anticipated speech is seen as a crucial test for Mr Assad's leadership and one that may help determine which way the country goes from here.

Anti-government protests erupted on March 18 in a southern city and expanded across Syria, drawing a brutal crackdown in the worst unrest in decades. Human Rights Watch says more than 60 people have died in the violence.

Press Association

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