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Syria’s President Assad grants amnesty for certain crimes

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (file photo by Reuters)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has issued a legislative decree, authorizing the release of prisoners including those convicted for misdemeanors as well as minors facing certain charges.

The amnesty, issued on Sunday for crimes committed before May 2, 2021, includes those who have escaped military service and those facing temporary criminal penalties, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.

However, SANA did not say how many prisoners would benefit from the amnesty.

According to AFP, the decree also includes crimes related to the terrorism act of 2012, including “conspiracy” to commit a “terrorist” act, but suspects on the death row for terrorist acts would not be included.

The foreign-sponsored crisis in Syria erupted in 2011. It has so far claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions more.

Throughout the war, some foreign countries such as the US and Israel, have repeatedly attacked Syria, in acts regarded by Damascus as clear support for the terrorists wreaking havoc in the Arab country.

Under Assad’s decree, drug traffickers, smugglers and those convicted for tax evasion as well as army deserters who turn themselves in within three months if they are in the country or within six months if they are abroad could also benefit.

Assad has issued similar amnesties in recent years as well.

Meanwhile, Syria has announced that it will hold its presidential election on May 26.

According to opinion polls, Assad has a good chance of re-election given his government’s successful fight against foreign-sponsored terrorists since the conflict began.

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