Over 70 People Killed in Syria Protests on Good Friday

Dozens of people were killed on Friday as protesters across Syria were greeted with gunfire and tear gas by government security forces. By dusk, nine separate demonstrations had reported fatalities. According to reports, at least 73 protesters were killed, including a 4-year-old girl, who was reportedly shot in the head by a sniper. Thursday, President Bashar al-Assad lifted the country’s emergency laws which had been in place since 1962, saying the concession took away the last pretext for protest and that anyone taking to the streets afterward was simply a rebel. Tens of thousands of people across the country defied Assad even though they knew security forces had been authorized to use force. These protests specifically targeted Assad, which is a marked change from those in March, which were against the president’s policies. Since the protests began in Syria on March 18, at least 220 people have died.