Syrians supporting Assad?

Assad declares general amnesty; mass support rallies staged

One day after pseudo-placating speech blaming 'saboteurs' for unrest sweeping Syria, its president offers to pardon for 'all dissidents crimes'

Tens of thousands of Syrians staged rallies suppoprting President Bashar Assad Tuesday, a mere day after pro-democracy protesters rejected his speech.


According to Syrian state television, a huge pro-Assad demonstration was also held in Homs, in the center of the country. Both rallies appeared to be a scheduled and organized event by the Syrian regime.



Assad vowed reform in a speech Monday that was only his third public appearance since the revolt against his family's 40-year-rule erupted in March.


In the speech given at Damascus University, Assad reiterated a commitment to "national dialogue" and promised new laws on the media and parliamentary elections.


But these promises were deemed inconclusive by the international community and the opponents, who called to continue the revolt until the fall of the regime.


Assad's vague overtures to a pro-democracy uprising fell flat with the opposition, and anti-government protesters took to the streets shouting "Liar! Liar!" and demanding his ouster.

Pro-Assad rally (Photo: EPA)


Thousands of people carrying Assad's pictures took to the streets of Damascus on Tuesday, pledging allegiance to the president.


State TV showed similar protests in the northern cities of Aleppo, Latakia and the southern city of Daraa.


Meanwhile, Assad issued a general decree of amnesty Tuesday. The pardon, the second of its kind in three weeks, includes anyone who committed crimes until June 20, the state news agency SANA said.


The statement followed a previous general amnesty issued on May 31, allowing hundreds of political prisoners, including Muslim Brotherhood members, to go free.


Protesters took to the streets across Syria on Monday to denounce a speech by President Bashar al-Assad they said did not meet popular demands for sweeping political change, activists and witnesses said.


Meanwhile, Syrian security forces killed three people Tuesday, during clashes between Assad's loyalists and protesters demanding his removal, activists and residents said. 


Roee Nahmias, Reuters and AFP contributed to the report



פרסום ראשון: 06.21.11, 14:05
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