Thousands of people continued to protest against President Bashir al-Assad of Syria on Sunday, Independence Day, despite his promise to lift the country's 47-year-old emergency law.
Demonstrators gathered in Syria's second city, Aleppo, the town of Suweida, and Deraa, the city near the southern border where unrest targeting Mr Assad's rule started last month.
On Saturday, in a televised cabinet meeting, the president issued instructions that the emergency law introduced by his father Hafez al-Assad in 1963 should be lifted within seven days. "After that, we will not tolerate any attempt at sabotage," he added.
A spokeswoman and government supporters insisted that the concession answered most of the demands of opposition protesters. But many activists said the move did not go far enough, and demanded greater personal freedom, an end to immunity from prosecution for the secret police and for other legal reforms. Many protesters also called for Mr Assad to step down