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Syria’s Bashar Assad announces sweeping amnesty

June 09, 2014, 16:07 UTC+3

The presidential order concerns crimes committed before June 9, 2014

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© AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman

BEIRUT, June 9. /ITAR-TASS/. Syrian President Bashar Assad has announced general amnesty. The state TV reports that the presidential order concerns crimes committed before June 9, 2014.

“The presidential order on amnesty has been signed within the context of national reconciliation and unification after victories of the Syrian army,” said Syrian Minister of Justice Najm Hamad al-Ahmad commenting on Assad’s decision.

Experts believe the general amnesty is an important step towards national dialogue initiated by the Syrian leadership. The regulation on general amnesty was one of the main action points of Assad’s election program.


Other amnesties announced by Assad

October 29, 2013, the Syrian president announced amnesty for desertion and evasion of military service. Then, the amnesty applied to crimes committed until the mentioned date.

Bashar Assad has also announced a general amnesty April 16. The Syrian TV specified then that the amnesty applied to “all individuals convicted before April 16”. The presidential order said that those convicted to death “will be serving penalties by way of compulsory labor”. Observers considered Assad’s decree as part of the authorities’ program on normalizing the situation in the country.

Another amnesty was announced in Syria in January 2012. It was limited and concerned people arrested for participating in anti-government street rallies.

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