The Syrian National Coalition held a legal workshop to discuss the Assad regime’s latest amnesty decree, its goals and the possible repercussions on refugees and detainees. The workshop brought together members of the Coalition, the Syrian Negotiations Commission, representatives of lawyers’ syndicates, lawyers and human rights activists.
The workshop included the presentation of research papers that analyzed the text of the decree and highlighted the contradictions, politicization, lack of justice and deception against the Syrian people and the international community alike. It also included extensive discussion of the decree, its provisions and the need take action at the Arab and international levels to clarify its implications.
Yasser al-Farhan, member of the Coalition’s political committee, talked about the regime’s “selectivity” with regards to crimes covered by the amnesty decree. He noted that this selectivity will allow the regime’s judges to classify the crimes in line with dictates from security apparatuses given the wide judicial discretion those judges have and the lack of judicial independence.
Al-Farhan, who is also the Coordinator of the National Commision for Detainees and Missing Persons, added that the Assad regime “issues an amnesty decree just on paper as it carries out new arrest and liquidations.” He pointed out that the Assad regime releases the criminals from its prisons and keeps political opponents and human rights defenders.
Member of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Tariq al-Kurdi, stressed the importance of exposing the Assad regime’s attempts to deceive the Syrian people and the international community. He said the regime “wants to appear as if it still has the full authority to punish or pardon the Syrian people.”
Al-Kurdi stressed that the amnesty decree did not carry anything new, noting that there is still a large segment of Syrians at home and abroad who are at risk of prosecution by the regime’s security services even after the issuance of such decrees.
The primary goal of such move is to deceive the Syrian people and the international community, Al-Kurdi said, pointing out that the decree carries a lot of misinformation and deception. He said that many articles of the Terrorism Law and the General Penal Code still affect a wide segment of Syrians at home and abroad, especially the refugees and IDPs.
For his part, Lawyer Hassan Youssef of the Free Bar Association said that the issuance of the amnesty law comes in the context of serving the Assad regime’s agenda and its policy of humiliating the people, stealing their resources, and denying them freedom in violation of the legal customs and traditions that say that laws are issued to serve the society and the people.
The Council of Aleppo’s Free Bar Association stressed the need to hold more such workshops to educate the society about the dangers of this decree and other decrees and laws aimed at taking revenge against the Syrian people.
The Council recommended working to expose the Assad regime’s practices and its attempts to provide then with legal cover with the aim of taking revenge on its opponents. It also underscored the importance of supporting the legal work in the liberated areas and in the host countries to protect the Syrian people from the regime’s crimes. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)