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Syria To 'Study' Ending 48-Year Emergency Law

Medics treat an injured man who later died from his wounds at a hospital in Deraa
Syrian authorities have said they will "study" ending an emergency law in place since 1963 and improving living standards amid growing unrest in the country.

Buthaina Shaaban, media adviser to President Bashar al-Assad, announced at an extraordinary briefing in Damascus the formation of a committee to seek improving living standards.

She said the committee will also analyze the scrapping of the 48-year-old emergency law governing the country.

Shaaban said the government will look into licensing political parties. The announcement after a week of deadly protests in the southern city of Daraa.

Shaaban said the protesters' demands were "justified." She said 10 people were killed in Daraa, but blamed the violence on armed gangs. Human rights groups say up to 100 people were killed on March 23 alone.

Some 20,000 people meanwhile attended the funerals in Daraa of those killed on March 24 by security forces.

Assad's Baath Party has ruled Syria since 1963.

compiled from agency reports