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Human rights report: More than 3,000 children are detained in Assad regime’s prisons despite issuing 23 amnesty decrees

The Syrian Network for Human Rights said in a report Tuesday on November 21, that the Assad regime failed to release 3,696 children and 144 people aged 70 in its prisons, despite issuing 23 amnesty decrees since the beginning of the revolution in 2011 until November 20, 2023.

The report stated that all these decrees released 7351 arbitrary detainees. There are still 1335253 forcibly disappeared detainees in Assad regime’s prisons.

The report pointed out that on November 16, 2023, the Assad regime issued Legislative Decree No. (36) granting a general amnesty for crimes committed before the date of issuing the decree. This decree was preceded by the issuance of three amnesty decrees in 2022.

The report pointed out that issuing these decrees in a short time confirms that the Assad regime seeks to promote the process of issuing successive decrees and to consolidate its misleading of public opinion and the international community about the release of its detainees on the one hand, and to achieve other internal goals related to the dilapidated state of its prisons and reduce pressure on them.

The report revealed that the Assad regime subjected children to exceptional courts, such as the abolished Military Field Court and the Counterterrorism Court, without allocating a special judge/juvenile court for them, with the exception of a few cases, and issued against them many harsh sentences of imprisonment for long years and even death.

The report explained that Decree No. 36 of 2023 excluded all crimes directed against detainees and forcibly disappeared persons, whether those directed broadly or specifically.

The report concluded that the Assad regime is continuing its approach with its amnesty decrees, as they do not contain provisions that enhance the hopes of detainees and their families, but rather are full of loopholes, exceptions, and conditions that make them ineffective.

The “Syrian Network for Human Rights” concluded its report by saying, “The content of these decrees poses a serious danger to those who are thinking about surrendering themselves during the legal period granted by the decree to benefit from amnesty, and contributes to dragging more young men to conscript in military service and involve them in the conflict.”

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