The Syrian government has passed a bill lifting the emergency law that has been in place for 48 years, as well as a bill dismantling the Supreme State Security Court. The government also approved a bill to “regulate the right to peacefully protest,” but Syrian Interior Ministry made an official statement calling on its citizens not to participate in marches, demonstrations, rallies, or protests of any kind. The statement warned that authorities would reinforce the country’s applicable laws to maintain security and stability. Al-Jazeera reports that eyewitnesses in Homs said that heavy gunfire was heard at dawn and that four people were killed.
The BBC reports that French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé has stated that France strongly opposes sending ground forces into Libya. The United Nations said today that the humanitarian situation in Misurata has deteriorated and the city’s residents have run out of many basic supplies. NATO accused Gaddafi's battalions of using unethical tactics in their fight against the revolutionaries, including dressing in civilian clothes, hiding inside hospitals and schools, and firing on civilians. Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim denied these claims.
Al-Alam sources in Bahrain reported that Saudi tanks and armored vehicles, backed by Bahraini forces, have demolished mosques and prayer halls in the Aker region. The sources also confirmed that Saudi troops stole money from a local mosque’s trust fund in the town of Beni Jamra. The joint Saudi-Bahraini forces continue their arrest campaign, targeting journalists, medics, and lawyers, despite international condemnation. During talks in Manama with US Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman, Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid Bin Hamad al-Khalifa confirmed that Saudi and Emirates forces would remain in Bahrain until “foreign threats” are removed.
Dubai TV reports from the southern Jalousie suburb of Paris, where several Muslims are staging a hunger strike in protest of a ban on building a local mosque. The ban was issued under the pretext of violating the country's secular principles. Muslim community members are conducting the hunger strike on the plot of land where the mosque is supposed to be built. The extremely limited space in the Jalousie’s current mosque prompted the local Muslim community to collect donations, buy land, and make plans to build a larger mosque. They then faced opposition from city officials, who are limiting the number of building permits issued.
New TV reports from Gaza City, where a symbolic military funeral was held for Italian activist, Vittorio Arrigoni, who was kidnapped and killed by armed extremists. His body was taken to Egypt and then to Italy for burial after the funeral. The Interior Ministry has announced that it is offering a cash reward to officers and members of the police force to help capture his killers. Police say that they have arrested two suspects and that they are still looking for three others.