DAMASCUS, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Just days after winning a third 7- year term in office, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad issued on Monday a general amnesty, covering crimes committed before June 9, according to the official SANA news agency.
Among plenty of law items that are covered with the recent pardon, the June 9 amnesty would grant pardon to foreigners who have entered Syria with the intention to join a terrorist organization or commit a terrorist act if they turned themselves in to the authority within a month following the issuance of the pardon.
The amnesty also fully pardons the kidnappers who release their hostages within one month safely and without ransom.
Under the fresh pardon, those who are sentenced with death penalty will face instead a lifetime imprisonment with hard labor, and others with lifetime imprisonment will serve a 20-year incarceration with hard labor.
Assad has granted a number of general amnesties since the eruption of the Syrian crisis four years ago. The fresh pardon comes just days after Assad won the re-election, the first multi- candidate elections in Syria's modern history.
Earlier this week, pro-government media outlets said that at least 400 inmates were released from prisons ahead of the pardon's issuance.
Freeing prisoners, mainly the politicians, is one of the first demands of the Syrian opposition groups, which claim that tens of thousands of people are imprisoned in government's jails against the backdrop of the long-running war.
Still, it wasn't immediately clear how many inmates will benefit from the pardon.