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Damascus: Political prisoners granted amnesty

KURDWATCH, June 4, 2011—With Decree No. 61, dated May 31, 2011, President Bashar al-Assad granted amnesty to all those who were convicted of crimes prior to May 31, 2011. They will be released after serving half of their sentences. Moreover, all those convicted of violations punishable by up to one year or up to three years imprisonment will be released. Numerous political prisoners will also profit from the amnesty.
[Furthermore the amnesty covers all those convicted on the basis of Statute No. 49 from the year 1980. This statute stipulates the death penalty for all members of the organization of the Muslim Brotherhood. The new decree replaces the death penalty with life imprisonment or lifelong hard labor, depending on the offense.
In addition, all prisoners who had reached 70 years of age by May 31, 2011 will be released from prison. This also applies to those sentenced to life imprisonment, provided they committed the offense prior to their 60th birthday.

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