Scores of protesters have been killed in Syria during 10 days of protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad. In an attempt to appease protesters, Assad’s administration has reportedly vowed to lift the emergency law, which for nearly 50 years has allowed the government to detain people without charge. "For more than 40 years, people have been politically suppressed,” says Bassam Haddad, the director of the Middle East Studies Program at George Mason University. “That suppression was coupled more recently in the past 20-some years with neoliberal-like economic policies that have created huge gaps between different segments of Syrian society.”
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