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Syrian protests for 'Day of Martyrs'

Syrian protests for 'Day of Martyrs'
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There have been more anti-government protests across Syria following Friday prayers. At least three people have been killed in the capital, Damascus. That brings the death toll to more than 60 since unrest began two weeks ago. Security forces used batons and tear gas on people on the streets.

Activists are calling Friday the ‘Day of Martyrs’. Demonstrations are taking place in a number of cities including Latakia, where 12 people were killed last week, and the southern city of Deraa.

At mosques in Damascus, there are reports of government supporters and security forces gathering outside, later entering to mix with the protesters and even locking people inside the building.

So far, none of the dissenters have caused President Bashar al-Assad to announce reforms, though he has set up an investigation into the protesters’ deaths.

Euronews spoke to human rights lawyer, Haytham Al Maleh who said that if the president wanted to release political prisoners, there would be no need for committees, a simple decree would be enough. Mr Al Maleh also described the country’s enforced state of emergency as ‘illegal’.

Syria has been ruled by martial law since a state of emergency was declared 48 years ago, citing the relationship with Israel as the reason.