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Syria: Assad pardons only 527 of a total of 132,000 prisoners 

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus, Syria on 11 February 2016 [JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images]
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus, Syria on 11 February 2016 [JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images]

Only 527 prisoners have been pardoned under a presidential decree issued by the Syrian regime at the end of the last month, rights groups have said, adding that the fate of about 132,000 other detainees remains unknown.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that although the decree was issued on 3 April, daily monitoring and documentation confirmed that "only about 527 people have been released from various civil and military prisons and security branches in the Syrian governorates, including 59 women and 16 people were children at the time of their arrest."

According to the network's figures, the Syrian regime is still detaining or forcibly disappearing nearly 132,000 Syrian citizens since March 2011.

Among those released, there were 11 cases of forcibly disappeared persons who were arrested in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2016, and their families were given no information about them during the period of their disappearance.

Also among the released were at least 131 people who had settled their security conditions prior to their arrest, and were promised, as part of the settlement, that they would not be attacked by the security services, as well as 21 refugees and residents who were arrested upon their return to Syria, including two women.

Thousands of Syrians had gathered under the President's Bridge in the capital, Damascus, in the days following the pardon decree, hoping their relatives would be amongst those released.

Activists accuse the Assad regime of playing with the people's emotions, saying the pardon was not real.

SNHR estimates that among the 132,000 people still detained by the Syrian regime, approximately 87,000 people are forcibly disappeared.

READ: Assad regime demands money to close released detainees' cases, violating amnesty decree

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Middle EastNewsSyria
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