Syria activists issue joint statement on democracy

Amman — Syrian activists coordinating mass protests against President Bashar al-Assad's authoritarian rule demanded on Friday the abolition of Baath Party monopoly on power and the establishment of a democratic political system.

In the first joint statement since protests erupted five weeks ago, the Local Coordination Committees, representing provinces across Syria, said "freedom and dignity slogans cannot be achieved except through peaceful democratic change."
"All prisoners of conscience must be freed. The existing security apparatus has to be dismantled and replaced by one with specific jurisdiction and which operates according to law," said the joint statement, which was sent to Reuters.

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