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Syria frees 672 prisoners to mark Eid-el-Fitri

About 672 detainees were released from Syrian prisons on Saturday, a day ahead of Eid el-Fitr feast.

Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA, said the detainees were from several Syrian provinces and were released to further  reconciliation in the country.

According to SANA, Justice Minister Hisham Mohammad al-Shaar said that the legal status of 672 persons, from various governorates, has been settled and they were released after pledging not to carry out any act that violates the security and stability of the country.

The authorities gathered the detainees and released them from the al-Baath Party branch in the capital Damascus, after Justice Minister Hisham al-Sha’ar met with them and gave a speech.

Inside the complex, each detainee carried his identification card and other related documentations in a plastic pack, when al-Sha’ar said their release was “a real chance to think again and re-embrace the homeland.”

Women and their children, as well as young men, were among the released, according to reporters invited to cover the event.

Some of them have spent more than three years in prison, while others for a few months only, depending on the charges.

The government usually releases some detainees, mostly with misdemeanors or jailed for political reasons, ahead of the Eid occasion.

The political opposition has repeatedly urged the government to release what it said were tens of thousands of detainees, who were captured against the backdrop of the six-year war.

In February, Amnesty International accused the Syrian authorities of hanging thousands of prisoners and dumping bodies in mass graves in the notorious military prison of Saydnaya, which was repeatedly denied by government officials including President Bashar al-Assad.

*Source: Xinhua

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