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Legislative decrees>>2011: Decrees on Ending State of Emergency, Abolishing SSSC, Regulating Right to Peaceful Demonstration

Decrees on Ending State of Emergency, Abolishing SSSC, Regulating Right to Peaceful Demonstration

Apr 22, 2011

Damascus, (SANA)_ President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday issued decree No. 161 on ending the state of emergency. 

Legislative Decree No. 53 on Abolishing SSSC Issued

President al-Assad also issued legislative decree No. 53 on abolishing the Supreme State Security Court (SSSC).

The decree stipulates for canceling the SSSC established by the legislative decree No. 47 for the year 1968 and its amendments and every text contrary to this legislative decree.

Referring all cases pending before this Court and Public Prosecution to the competent judicial authority as provided for by the Criminal Procedure Rules.

Legislative Decree No. 54 Regulating Right to Peaceful Demonstration Issued

President al-Assad also issued legislative decree No. 54 regulating the right to peaceful demonstration, as one of basic human rights guaranteed by the Syrian Constitution.

The legislative decree provides for the following:

Article 1 :

a - The Ministry: Interior Ministry.

b - Demonstration: the gathering of some people and peacefully took to the public place or street, to express their opinion or have demands or protest against something.

c - Organizing side: the party which calls for peaceful demonstration.

d - Committee: the committee responsible for organizing the demonstration.

Article 2 :

a - Regulating the right to peaceful demonstration, as one of the basic human rights guaranteed by the Syrian Constitution.

b - Preserving balance between the citizens' safety and exercising their right to peaceful demonstration, in addition to enabling the public authorities to protect public and private funds and properties and to maintain order.

Article 3 :

Duly licensed citizens, civil and popular organizations and trade unions have the right to organize demonstrations in accordance with the Syrian Constitution's principles and laws.

Article 4 :

Forming a specialized committee at the Ministry whose mission is to consider the license applications for organizing demonstrations.

Article 5 :

a. Those who want to organize a demonstration have to:

1 - Form a committee to submit the request to the ministry for consideration, at least 5 days prior to the scheduled date. The request should include the demonstration date, starting time, the gathering place, its course, ending time, goals, causes and slogans.

2 - Provide a notarized document in which the committee pledges to take responsibility for all damages that may affect the public and private properties.

b. The Ministry should provide a written replay within a week of receipt of the request. In case, the Ministry didn't reply, it is considered as an approval to give the license for demonstration. If the request is rejected, it must be reasoned.

c. The rejection decision can be appealed to the Administrative Court, which has to decide on the appeal in a week, with a final decision.

Article 6 :

a. The Ministry, in cooperation with the organizing committee, has the right to change the demonstration date, starting and ending time, the gathering place or its course if any of them affect the State's interests or threaten the citizens' safety and properties. This must be done at least 24 hours prior to the protest's starting time.

b. The administrative party should undertake protecting the demonstration and providing assistance when needed according to the laws and regulations in force.

Article 7 :

The organizing committee consists of a chairman and two members at least. The committee should maintain order during the demonstration. It can call upon the police for help if needed.

Article 8 :

The Ministry has the right to end the demonstration if it exceeds what is permitted in the license or if riots or crimes are committed that may affect the general order or impede the authorities' work.

Article 9 :

a. No one is allowed to carry a weapon during the demonstration even if he has a license.

b. According to the legislative decree, sharp or piercing instruments or any instruments which threaten the citizens' safety are considered a weapon.

Article 10 :

Other gatherings or rallies organized contrary to the articles of this legislative decree are considered riot acts.

Article 11 :

Relevant provisions in the valid laws and regulations are taken into consideration in cases not mentioned in this decree.

Article 12 : The Interior Minister is responsible for issuing the executive instructions related to this decree.

Article 13 :

The legislative decree is published and goes into effect starting from the date of its issuance.

Legislative Decree No. 55: Judiciary Police Responsible for Investigating Crimes

President al-Assad issued legislative decree No. 55 provides for the judiciary police or those commissioned to carry out its tasks will be responsible for investigating crimes and hearing the suspects.

Deans of Law Faculties: Ending State of Emergency and SSSC, Regulating Peaceful Protest Decrees Enhance Freedom of Syrian People

Dean of Faculty Law at Damascus University Dr. Mohammad Youssef on Thursday said in a statement to SANA that the bulk of decrees issued by President Bashar al-Assad came to meet the aspirations of the Syrian people.

He pointed out to the overall satisfaction over canceling the Supreme State Security Court which is considered an extraordinary court.

He also said that the peaceful protest law is a civilized law that guarantees citizens to express their opinions freely and protect public and private properties.

For their part, deans of faculty law at Aleppo, al-Baath and Tishreen universities stressed the importance of these decrees to ensure people's freedom, pointing out that they are a significant step forward in the reform process.

Justice Minister: New Decrees Genuine Expression of Legislative Development in Syria

Justice Minister Tayseer Qalla Awad stressed that the benefits of the decrees issued by President Bashar al-Assad will be enormous, adding that they will be genuine expression of the legislative and social development in Syria to find new rules and measures to reconsider specific kinds of crimes not related to the rules of the state of emergency and reflect President al-Assad's response to the people's demands.

Minister Awad said the decree stipulating the end of the state of emergency was necessary. The state of emergency founded the Supreme State Security Court as an extraordinary court. Ending the state of emergency will refer cases to ordinary courts.

Awad clarified that the Supreme State Security was specialized in crimes quoted in the penalty law which are the crimes of treason, spying and sedition. These cases will be referred to ordinary courts.

He pointed out that the decree no 54 providing for regulating peaceful protests aim at ensuring the security and safety of citizens, clarifying that who wants peaceful protests will have to submit a request to the Ministry of Interior and form a committee of three people: head and two members at least.

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