Syria: Assad issues amnesty, reduces sentences

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad yesterday issued an amnesty that reduces sentences and pardons draft dodgers if they report for duty within three to six months, Reuters reported.

The pardon, which was published by the official Syrian news agency, is related to all crimes committed before 14 September 2019.

According to Reuters, the pardon reduces the death penalty to a life sentence and life sentences to 20 years.

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

READ: EU follows Turkey, US talks on safe zone in Syria 

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

Other exceptions include drug crimes and arms smugglers.

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