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Syria: Amnesty for Rebels Extended

(Oct. 31, 2016) On July 28, 2016, the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, Bashar al-Assad, issued Legislative Decree No. 15, granting amnesty from serving any sentence to rebels who are fugitives or are in hiding, if they surrender to authorities with their weapons within a three-month period from the date of issuance of the Decree. (Legislative Decrees No. 15 & 23, 2016, Syrian Arab Republic People’s Assembly website (in Arabic).)

The Decree also offered the same amnesty to those who hold captives, if they release them peacefully and without ransom within one month of the date of the issuance of the Decree. (Id.)

On October 27, 2016, one day before the expiration of the three-month period, the President issued Legislative Decree No. 23, extending the effect of Decree No. 15 for three more months. Decree 23 apparently also gives captors a longer, three-month period than originally stated in Decree No. 15 to release their captives and benefit from the amnesty.  (Id.)