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Official abusing Syria emergency law

DAMASCUS, Syria, June 27 (UPI) -- A human rights activist is criticizing the use of Syria's emergency law to arrest 43 people for violating the construction law.

Syrian human rights activist Anwar Bunni said in a statement Monday the governor of Damascus sought permission to use the emergency law in recent days.

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Bunni criticized the governor's move as official abuse. The law has been in force in Syria for nearly four decades.

He said the move also contradicted the recommendations of the ruling Baath party's latest congress, which called for using the emergency law only in cases related to state security.

The construction law involves restrictions and specifications for engineers and architects on buildings in Damascus and other Syrian cities.

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