Security up near Syrian parliament ahead of protests

Social media campaigns have called for "day of rage" in Damascus; Human Rights Watch says regime using intimidation tactics.

bashar assad 311 (photo credit: AP)
bashar assad 311
(photo credit: AP)
DAMASCUS, Syria — Plainclothes Syrian security agents were deployed in small groups outside Parliament in the country's capital ahead of planned anti-government demonstrations.
Campaigns on Facebook and Twitter have called for a "day of rage" in Damascus on Friday and Saturday.
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The campaigns take inspiration from Egypt and Tunisia in using social networking sites to rally their followers for sweeping political reforms.
Syria's authoritarian President Bashar Assad has resisted calls for political freedoms and jailed critics of his regime.
By early afternoon, no protesters had gathered outside Syria's parliament.
Human Rights Watch quotes witnesses as saying Syrian security forces have been intimidating people in recent days who have tried to assemble to support the protesters in Egypt.