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Assad Issues Decree Granting Amnesty

Assad Issues Decree Granting Amnesty

Monday, 16 September, 2019 - 10:15
A general view of Damascus, Syria. (Reuters)
London, Damascus - Asharq Al-Awsat
Head of the Syrian regime Bashar Assad issued Sunday a decree granting amnesty to crimes committed before September 14.

It reduces the death penalty to a life sentence of hard labor, and life sentences to 20 years, among other punishments.

Prisoners with incurable diseases over the age of 75 years and who have been indicted would also be released.

The decree reduces sentences for crime and pardons draft dodgers if they report for duty within three to six months.

Fugitives must turn themselves in within three months to benefit from the amnesty.

Draft dodgers inside Syria will have three months to take advantage of the amnesty while those abroad will have six months.

According to SANA news agency, the amnesty decree also included offenses of misdemeanors, juveniles and penalties related to fines being paid and settled with the General Directorate of Customs and the competent department.

Assad has issued a number of amnesty decrees since Syria’s war, which spiraled out of an uprising in 2011, most recently on October 20, 2018.

Syrian regime forces, opposition factions and the Syrian Democratic Forces share control of all the country’s territories.

The amnesty does not cover Syrians who took up arms to fight the state, colluded with foreign nations against Syria or joined insurgents, whom Damascus regards as terrorists.

Other exceptions include drug crimes and arms smuggling.

But lawyer Anwar al-Bunni told the AFP that the last decree "includes acts of terrorism contained in the General Penal Code and not those covered by the anti-terrorism law.”

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