Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's government has today said that it may scrap an emergency law in place since 1963, following a week of deadly protests in the southern city of Daraa.
‘I am happy to announce to you the decisions made today by the Arab Baath party under the auspices of President Bashar al-Assad... which include... studying the possibility of lifting the emergency law and licensing political parties,’ the president's media adviser, Buthaina Shaaban told a news conference.
The president also issued a decree raising state employees' wages by 20 to 30%, state news agency SANA reported.
Earlier, Ms Shaaban said 10 people were killed in the city of Daraa, the centre of one week of protests against Assad's Baath party.
Activists have said 100 people were shot dead in Daraa yesterday alone.
Activists have accused security forces of using live rounds against demonstrators in Daraa, where a doctor who had taken cover in an ambulance and an 11-year-old girl were reportedly among the victims.
The report could not be independently confirmed, but AFP reporters witnessed sporadic shooting in the town yesterday.
Reports of mass arrests in Syria have also surfaced this month.
State media reported this evening that all activists detained in 'recent events' had been released.
Thousands of Syrians chanted 'freedom, revolution' in the centre of of Deraa this evening.
A Reuters witness said the crowd were continuing to pour into the old quarter of the city around the main Omari mosque, which security forces evacuated earlier today after storming it yesterday.