Syria: Observers, Press Continue Visit; President Decrees Amnesty

Damascus, Jan 16. -Arab observers, who will conclude their mission on Thursday 19, as well as representatives of foreign media, who continue arriving in Syria, keep on visiting towns in this country in compliance with their own requests.A mission team headed by Sudanese General Mohammad al-Dabi visited the Bab Hood neighborhood and the al-Mazraa community, in the city of Homs, as well as Tadmur town, authorities informed.

Minister of Information Adnan Mahmoud noted that his ministry has issues work permits for journalists from 147 foreign media who have arrived in the country since early December to cover the current events.

Mahmoud underlined that the foreign reporters have visited areas in Homs, Daraa, Hama, Idleb, Damascus, Campo and Aleppo, and highlighted that foreign media have accompanied the Arab observers during their visits to Syrian provinces.

On the other hand, as a new humanitarian gesture, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad decreed a general amnesty for the crimes committed in the context of the events that have taken place since March 15, 2011.

The decree includes crimes related to peaceful demonstrations, carrying or possessing unlicensed firearms, and evasion of military service, local media reported on Monday.

In early November 2011, after signing the agreement with the Arab League, al-Assad decreed another amnesty for all those who had carried, hidden, acquired or distributed firearms but had no blood on their hands.

Also complying with the AL agreement, Syrian authorities have released nearly 3,952 people who were arrested for crimes related to the uprisings and other events, and who were not involved in shedding Syrian blood. (Prensa Latina)