#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 3°C Saturday 4 December 2021

Syrian president issues amnesty to political protesters

The opposition has dismissed President Bashar al-Assad’s amnesty, while it’s thought that the US will soon call for his to step down. More that a thousand people have been killed in Syria in the regime’s crackdown on the uprising.

A young woman joins a solidarity protest for Syria in Switzerland.
A young woman joins a solidarity protest for Syria in Switzerland.
Image: Sandro Campardo/AP/Press Association Images

THE SYRIAN PRESIDENT Bashar al-Assad has offered an amnesty to those who’ve been detained for protesting against his regime.

He’s issued a decree which grants an amnesty “for crimes committed before 31 May 2011″ reports the Wall Street Journal. It specifically mentions members of the Muslim Brotherhood, who have been banned from Syria since 1980.

The amnesty could affect some 10,000 people who Syrian activists say have been rounded up since the protests against the Assad regime broke out in mid-March. The release of political prisoners has been a key demand of the opposition, but activists say it is occurring too late.

RTE reports that the US is dismissing Assad’s getsure and other reforms, saying that his leadership and regime is becoming “less tenable” all the time. Opponents of the Syrian regime – from the West, the Middle East and from inside the country itself – have gathered in Turkey for a conference aimed at overcoming differences and bolstering protesters.

The news came as Syrian troops  shelled a southern town with tanks and artillery, killing at least eight people, including an 11-year-old girl, in the latest crackdown by Assad’s regime.

Rights groups say more than 1,000 people have been killed in the regime’s crackdown on the uprising, the most serious challenge to the Assad family’s 40-year rule. The government claims the uprising is the work of Islamic extremists and armed gangs.

- Additional reporting by AP

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

Read next: