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As Thousands of Palestinians Fall Prey to Forced Disappearance, Syrian President Issues Amnesty to Cut Criminal Sentences

Published : 16-09-2019

As Thousands of Palestinians Fall Prey to Forced Disappearance, Syrian President Issues Amnesty to Cut Criminal Sentences

Syria's President Bashar AlAssad has issued a decree to release or decrease the punishment of various prisoners, including some detained under the war-torn country's "terrorism law".

“The president promulgated decree No. 20 for 2019 that grants general amnesty for crimes committed before September 14 this year,” the Syrian presidency posted on Facebook.

The so-called "general amnesty" is the latest in a line of such decrees, including one in 2014 that saw thousands released. Sunday's decree also promised to reduce sentences of some detainees.

It would include freeing some prisoners detained under a 2012 "terrorism law", using a catch-all term for anti-government activists and rebels.

Those imprisoned under the 2012 law over "conspiracy" or failing to inform the authorities of an act of "terrorism" are to be released, according to the decree. But the amnesty does not extend to those condemned over killing someone or rendering them paralyzed.

Exceptions aside, prisoners sentenced to death are instead to serve life in jail with hard labor. Those sentenced to a life of hard labor are instead to work for 20 years, and those handed a life sentence are to do time for 20 years instead.

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

Deserters who hand themselves over within three months inside Syria or six months outside the country are to be exempted from punishment. The same goes for kidnappers who release their hostages safe and sound within the next month.

In 2014, after securing a new term in a controversial election conducted only in government-controlled areas, Assad issued an amnesty. Later the same year, a minister said around 11,000 detainees had been released.

But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said the number released was close to 7,000 -- just a tenth of prisoners that had been expected to benefit.

Upon more than once occasion, AGPS has called on the Syrian government to disclose the fate of hundreds of Palestinians forcibly disappeared in state-run dungeons.

AGPS believes that the arbitrary internment of Palestinian refugees in war-torn Syria amounts to a war crime.

According to AGPS statistics, over 540 Palestinian refugees, including scores of women and dozens of minors, died under torture in Syrian government lock-ups. Several causalities were identified through live snapshots leaked from Syrian penal complexes, where over 1,700 Palestinian refugees continue to be secretly jailed. 

Short URL : https://www.actionpal.org.uk/en/post/9099

Syria's President Bashar AlAssad has issued a decree to release or decrease the punishment of various prisoners, including some detained under the war-torn country's "terrorism law".

“The president promulgated decree No. 20 for 2019 that grants general amnesty for crimes committed before September 14 this year,” the Syrian presidency posted on Facebook.

The so-called "general amnesty" is the latest in a line of such decrees, including one in 2014 that saw thousands released. Sunday's decree also promised to reduce sentences of some detainees.

It would include freeing some prisoners detained under a 2012 "terrorism law", using a catch-all term for anti-government activists and rebels.

Those imprisoned under the 2012 law over "conspiracy" or failing to inform the authorities of an act of "terrorism" are to be released, according to the decree. But the amnesty does not extend to those condemned over killing someone or rendering them paralyzed.

Exceptions aside, prisoners sentenced to death are instead to serve life in jail with hard labor. Those sentenced to a life of hard labor are instead to work for 20 years, and those handed a life sentence are to do time for 20 years instead.

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

Deserters who hand themselves over within three months inside Syria or six months outside the country are to be exempted from punishment. The same goes for kidnappers who release their hostages safe and sound within the next month.

In 2014, after securing a new term in a controversial election conducted only in government-controlled areas, Assad issued an amnesty. Later the same year, a minister said around 11,000 detainees had been released.

But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said the number released was close to 7,000 -- just a tenth of prisoners that had been expected to benefit.

Upon more than once occasion, AGPS has called on the Syrian government to disclose the fate of hundreds of Palestinians forcibly disappeared in state-run dungeons.

AGPS believes that the arbitrary internment of Palestinian refugees in war-torn Syria amounts to a war crime.

According to AGPS statistics, over 540 Palestinian refugees, including scores of women and dozens of minors, died under torture in Syrian government lock-ups. Several causalities were identified through live snapshots leaked from Syrian penal complexes, where over 1,700 Palestinian refugees continue to be secretly jailed. 

Short URL : https://www.actionpal.org.uk/en/post/9099