27 MAR 2011
Syria lifted its emergency law on Sunday, news agencies report, a day after the European Union strongly condemned Damascus for the rising death toll amid growing unrest there.
Syria on Sunday lifted its emergency law, a day after the European Union's Foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton expressed her concern about the rising death toll in Syria amid wildly conflicting reports on the number of fatalities.
Violence has continued to flare as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ruling Baath Party come under unprecedented political pressure.
The authoritarian regime had announced a series of reforms on Thursday, including the release of activists detained during the recent unrest and the possibility that emergency rule might be brought to an end.
On Sunday the country followed through, lifting the emergency law, which has been in force since 1963, an official source told the dpa press agency.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 17 activists were released after they had been detained for protesting in front of the interior ministry in the capital Damascus on March 16.
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