Syrian opposition activists gathered in Damascus in March, joining a wave of uprisings against autocratic rulers in other Arab nations. Protesters called for the release of political prisoners and greater freedoms in the authoritarian state, led by President Bashar al-Assad.
President al-Assad announced reform measures, including the creation of a committee to study the possibility of lifting the country's emergency law. He also appointed a former agriculture minister as the country's new prime minister and asked him to form a government.
Despite the government's crackdown on demonstrations, protests continue in Syria.