Dozens of Syrians call for liberty in Damascus

Dozens of Syrians demonstrated in Damascus on Tuesday for liberty and political reforms and against corruption, according to witnesses and opposition websites.

"God, Syria, liberty" and "Syrians, where are you?" chanted men and women inviting their compatriots to join the "peaceful march" which unfolded in a central souk of Old City Damascus, according to videos posted online.

Witnesses and a human rights activist told AFP five young men near the Omayyad mosque started shouting the slogans despite a 1963 emergency law that bans demonstrations in Syria.

The young demonstrators marched through landmark souks Al-Hamidiyeh and Hariqa drawing dozens of other Syrians with them. But security forces broke up the group arresting two of its members, witnesses said.

A Facebook page entitled "The Syrian revolution against Bashar al-Assad 2011," which has amassed about 42,000 fans, was promoting demonstrations "in all Syrian cities" on March 15.

The organizers, who say they are human rights activists from Syria and Europe with no political affiliation, called for a "revolution until liberty and for justice."

The organizers also took pride that the residents of Qamishli, a city in northeast Syria with a Kurdish majority, protested on March 12 against "corruption and injustice."

Mid-February, hundreds of Syrians staged a spontaneous protest against security forces after policemen assaulted a young man in Old City Damascus, the Dubai-based all4Syria reported.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon