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Syria reviews media laws

DAMASCUS, Syria, July 5 (UPI) -- Draft versions of Syrian media laws are made up of 92 articles that include sweeping freedoms and lack the word "imprisonment," a committee said.

Damascus is undertaking a series of reforms meant to allay public criticism of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Hundreds of people have been killed in violence that erupted during anti-government protests early this year.

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Taleb Kadi Amin, chairman of a committee examining press freedoms, said draft versions of media laws were sent to the Information Minister for review at a national dialogue conference, the official Syrian Arab News Agency reports.

The draft, SANA said, is meant to give journalists better access to information and provides for more independence.

"Article 12 requires that the journalist be committed to principles and values of the constitution and law and observe the values of authenticity, ethics and honesty as to preserve the values of society," SANA adds.

Washington and members of the international community have complained Syrian reform pledges were empty given the high degree of violence in the country. International media until recently were prohibited from covering protests in the country.

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