Syria's 'amnesty' excludes rebels
PRESIDENT Bashar al-Assad (right) issued a general "amnesty" yesterday for crimes committed during the 19-month Syrian uprising -- except for those carried out by the "terrorist" rebels. The amnesty was designed as a show of goodwill on the part of the Syrian regime towards implementing a UN-brokered temporary ceasefire for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, which begins on Friday.
The decree reduces sentences for criminals who have turned themselves in, so that, for example, the punishment for those on death row is now "life sentence with hard labour".
(© Daily Telegraph, London)