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Damascus: Reforms or stonewalling?

KURDWATCH, March 29, 2011—After days of protests at which security forces are said to have killed up to 100 people, the Baʿth regime has announced some reforms. One is that Statute No. 41, last amended by Decree 49, has been changed again. The changes in question involve a liberalizing of the law. KurdWatch will release details shortly. The population of al-Hasakah province, which is predominantly Kurdish, has suffered particularly under the consequences of Decree 49 [see »Decree 49 – Dispossession of the Kurdish population?«].
Meanwhile, the state of emergency in Syria continues. Until now, only the Baʿth party leadership has resolved to lift it. According to information from various Arab news networks, an anti-terror law is set to take effect at the same time as the end of the state of emergency. Thus, it remains to be seen whether the liberalizations that could occur through the lifting of the state of emergency will then be nullified by the passage of the anti-terror law.

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