Protests are taking place in several key cities in Syria, a day after Syrian president Bashar al-Assad announced his new government and an amnesty for scores of prisoners detained since protests began in order to calm the mounting opposition to his rule.
Thousands of people are marching in the center of the Syrian town of Daraa on Friday, which has been the focal point of protests against Assad’s rule.
Protests are also taking place in Baniyas, Homs, Latakia and Deir ez Zor, as well as in the Douma and Barzeh suburbs of the capital Damascus. Some of the protesters are carrying olive branches saying ‘peaceful, freedom’, others are demanding the toppling of the regime.
Last Friday, Syrian security forces shot dead more than 26 people in Daraa after thousands of people staged pro-democracy rallies after midday prayers.
The protesters were killed when security forces opened fire with live ammunition to disperse stone-throwing protesters.
One of the key demands of the protesters has been the lifting of emergency law in the country, which has been in place since 1963.
The Facebook group, The Syrian Revolution 2011, which boasts more than 110,000 followers and which has emerged as the organizing force behind the demonstrations that have been demanding “freedom” in Syria urged all the Syrians to participate in the nationwide protests on Friday to honor those killed by the Syrian security forces
“This Friday will be the day of ” persistence “, The Syrian Revolution 2011 banner read and added
“We will be persistent with our demands”
“We will be persistent with our call for freedom in Syria”
“We will be persistent with our call for peaceful protests”
Yesterday was the first reported protest in the Druze region of Syria since the unprecedented demonstrations against Assad’s authoritarian rule started in the city of Daraa almost one month ago and spread elsewhere.
The demonstrators chanted marched and chanted “freedom, freedom” and “we sacrifice our blood and our soul for you martyrs,” a reference to dozens of people killed by security forces in Daraa and other Syrian cities.