Syrian state news agency SANA stated that Syrian President Bashar Assad issued a decree Sunday granting amnesty and reducing sentences for several categories of crime committed before May 2,
SANA did not give a reason for the amnesty but it came days before Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr. It also comes ahead of the May 26 presidential elections, which Assad will most likely win for a fourth, seven-year term in office.
Since Syria’s conflict began in 2011, Assad has issued similar amnesties, the latest of which came in September 2019. The conflict has killed half-a-million people and displaced half the country’s prewar population including more than 5 millions who are refugees abroad.
SANA described Sunday’s presidential decree as “the most comprehensive amnesty decree for perpetrators of crimes, misdemeanors and felonies.”
The decree granted a complete pardon for the punishment for crimes and felonies including smuggling, drug abuse, and foreign currency trading.
It also covers kidnappings, provided that the kidnapped person was released before the date of the amnesty safe and sound.