Syrian President Bashar al-Assad announced a wide-ranging amnesty on Monday, less than a week after he was re-elected to another seven-year term in the midst of civil war, Reuters reports.
In a decree published by state media, Assad commuted some death sentences to life imprisonment, reduced jail terms for many offences and canceled some others altogether.
Foreigners who entered the country “to join a terrorist group or perpetrate a terrorist act” would receive an amnesty if they surrender to authorities within a month, the decree said. Kidnappers who free their hostages and army deserters would also be covered, it said.
Former peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who stepped down at the end of May after the failure of peace talks in Geneva, said he had presented Assad with a list of prisoners whose release the opposition have demanded.