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Assad in new amnesty to free many prisoners

 

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad granted amnesty and reduced sentences for all crimes committed before yesterday, while also offering amnesty to military deserters who turn themselves in within the next few months.

Similar amnesties have been issued on several occasions, most recently in September of last year.

The decree did not say whether freeing prisoners was part of an attempt to halt the spread of the new coronavirus inside Syria's jails.

Syria reported only its first virus infection yesterday. Strict measures have been taken across the war-torn country to prevent the spread of the virus, including the closure of restaurants and cafés.

Iran, one of the hardest-hit countries in the world by the new virus, released 85,000 prisoners last week on temporary leave.

The move was apparently an effort to keep the virus from spreading through Iran's prisons.

Iran has been a strong ally of Mr Assad during Syria's nine-year civil war.

The conflict in Syria has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced half the country's population.

Yesterday's decree granted amnesty to several crimes that weren't included in previous amnesties.

Irish Independent