Bouthaina Shaaban, an adviser to Bashar al-Assad, told Al Jazeera that emergency law in Syria would “absolutely” lifted, but didn’t mention when.
This has been a key demand of protestors in Syria. Emergency law, in place since the 1963 coup that brought the Baath Party to power, imposes restrictions on public gatherings, movement, allows the arrest of “suspects or persons who threaten security”, authorises interrogation of any Syrian, monitoring of personal communication and state censorship of media.
Yemeni protests are ongoing, particularly in the volatile south of the country. This conflict has a strong anti-Islamist element. President Saleh has been backed by other states, in order to prevent the spread of Al Qaeda in Yemen and the entire Gulf.
Wefaq – the main Shia opposition group in Bahrain – has welcomed Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Saban al-Ahmad al-Sabah’s offer to mediate between the al-Khalifa ruling family of Bahrain and the Shia opposition.