Thousands of Families Wait Outside Syrian Jails For Their Loved Ones

Published May 8th, 2022 - 08:01 GMT
Syrians await the release of jailed relatives
Syrians await the release of jailed relatives after a general amnesty was issued LOUAI BESHARA AFP

ALBAWABA - The big news is from Syria today. On the occasion of Eid al Fitr Syrian leader Bashar Al Assad issued a presidential decree granting general amnesty for prisoners convicted of so-called "terror crimes". The decree was supposed to go into effect immediately.

And hence thousands of families of prisoners - some of whom have been detained in Syrian prisons since the country's Arab Spring of 2011 - gathered around jails in the hope they will see their sons, fathers and relatives among those that are being set free under the new amnesty.

The social media is rife with this latest gesture made by Al Assad. The gatherings of the crowds, around prisons literally in all over the country, including in the infamous Sednaya prison which is 30 kilometers north of Damascus, have been making headlines because of their enormity. 

Since 2 May when the decree was announced the people literally camped outside prisons with many reports that whilst prisoners - dubbed to be in their tens of thousands are eligible to be freed under the amnesty - the actual process has been slow, almost a "trickle down."

Others have pointed to their sadness and pain of not knowing about their relatives.

Another one speaks of the long wait and languish under different hashtags which shows families have not lost hope with many stating that those imprisoned are ordinary people who have sought to lead ordinary lives.  

Meanwhile the wait continues. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights states that half a million people have been detained in regime prisons since the start of the war, with about 100,000 dying either under torture or due to poor detention conditions.

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