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Syria’s Assad to deliver speech on Thursday, says report

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will deliver a televised speech on Thursday, the Italian news agency AKI reported Wednesday.

According to the report, Assad will likely announce the abolition of decree 49, which makes membership of the Muslim Brotherhood a crime punishable by death in Syria, although sentences are usually commuted to long prison terms.

The president will also make amendments in the Article 8 of the Syrian constitution, which declares his Baath Party to be “leader of the Syrian government and society,” the report added.

The Syrian government is engaged in a deadly crackdown on protesters who since March have been demanding the end of 48 years of rule by the Assad-controlled Baath party.

-NOW Lebanon

For live updates on the Syrian uprising, follow @NOW_Syria on Twitter or click here.