The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) slammed the decrees issued by the Assad regime as farcical, noting that their application is limited to individuals and groups that the regime wishes to pardon, especially criminals, perpetrators of misdemeanors and violations, and does not include activists who took part in the popular peaceful anti-regime movement.
In a report issued on Tuesday, the rights group said that it would take the Assad regime 325 years to release 130,000 detainees, according to the amnesty decrees issued by it even if it ended all new arrests, noting the documentation of nearly 665 cases of arbitrary arrests, 116 deaths due to torture, and 232 releases since the previous amnesty decree was issued in September 2019.
The report indicated that if the Assad regime began releasing detainees in accordance with the amnesty decrees issued by it to date at a rate of 230 cases every six months, i.e. at a rate of approximately 400 cases per year, it will need 325 years to release the detainees now in its custody.
The report noted that “the heads of some regime security branches do not respond even to the amnesty decrees that have been issued, which is why, even if the amnesty decree include a number of detainees, the implementation of this decree on the ground rests solely in the hands of the heads of the security branches, whom the Ministry of Justice has no authority to pressure.”
The SNHR stressed that these amnesty decrees are all meaningless, with the regime continuing to practice with its customary policy terrorizing and threatening society with widespread and illegal operations of arrest, and transferring detainees for torture and enforced disappearance.
The report urged the United Nations and the international community not to be deceived by the tricks of the Assad regime, to continue to put constant pressure on it to release political and human rights activists, demonstrators, and all peaceful, democratic opponents, dissidents and prisoners of conscience, and to take responsibility in the event of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic among tens of thousands of detainees and the risk of this being fully transferred to Syrian society, especially given the continuation of air flights and the movement of Iranian militias from virus-stricken Iran to Syria. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)