Many prisoners in North and East Syria will be released via a general amnesty or have their sentences halved, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria has announced. The decision, which includes some exceptions to ensure security in the region and enshrine victims’ right to justice, follows AANES’ announcement of an amnesty for Syrian nationals in Hol Camp.
Those guilty of less serious crimes; the sick; and over-75s will be freed. Those guilty of serious felonies will see sentences halved, with life sentences reduced to 20 years. Convicts fleeing justice have 60 days to hand themselves in to benefit from the amnesty.
Those not to be released include those guilty of: espionage and treason; honor killings; drug trafficking; commanders in terror organizations such as ISIS; and terrorists guilty of violent crimes. But low-ranking members will be released, subject to good behavior.
Officials say the move is intended to promote a new approach to justice, revitalize community relations, and relieve pressure in prisons dealing with the burden of over 10,000 ISIS fighters. The text of the separate amnesty for Syrian nationals being held in Hol Camp is still being worked on, but a translation of the general amnesty follows:
Text of the resolution:
The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria
The General Council
Resolution Number 5:
A general and comprehensive amnesty is granted for all crimes committed before 10/10/2020 according to the following:
[minor] infractions and misdemeanours:
A – For infractions, the entire penalty [is cancelled, meaning the individual is free to go].
B – For misdemeanours, the entire penalty [is cancelled].
A – Life imprisonment shall be replaced by temporary imprisonment for a period of twenty years
B – All temporary penalties shall be halved [eg. 20 years down to 10 years etc.]
C – Life imprisonment or temporary penalty for any convicted person suffering from an incurable disease [is cancelled]
D – The entire life imprisonment or temporary penalty for a convict who has completed seventy-five years of age on the date of this resolution [is cancelled]
E – The ruling concerns the criminal description of the act, not the sentenced punishment.
The following are excluded from the provisions of this resolution:
A – [Those guilty of] crimes of treason and espionage.
B – Honor killings.
C – Rape crimes.
D – Crimes of drug trafficking and proliferation
E – Leaders, senior commanders, and trainers of terrorist organizations; and members of terrorist organizations involved in military actions and bombings; and those convicted over terrorism cases who have not had their good behaviour proven by a letter from the relevant authorities [ie. low-ranking terror convicts can be released but at authorities’ discretion].
F – those convicted, but hiding and fleeing justice, unless they hand over themselves within sixty days effective on the date of this resolution if they are still within the Autonomous Administration areas of North and East Syria, and within ninety days for those outside it.
G- Fines of whatever kind.
Subject to the provisions of Articles 1 / and / 2 /, it is stipulated that in order to benefit from the provisions of this resolution:
A – The convicted person shall deliver payments, compensations and obligations imposed in favor of the plaintiff, or [the plaintiff] submitting to the waiving of the personal right. [ie. if the plaintiff has a right to restitution, they must waive this right.]
B – With regard to offenses, breaches and felonies that are in the process of trial, the amnesty shall not be relevant unless there is a personal right being waived or a settlement is made with the relevant public authority.
C – Dropping the personal right in murder crimes. [ie. victims must agree before someone guilty of murder is released.]
A – The Social Justice Council will form a medical committee to examine the beneficiaries of the provisions of Paragraph / C / of Article 2 of this resolution based on a request submitted by the beneficiary within a maximum period of thirty days from the date of its enforcement.
B – The reports of the medical committee shall be authenticated by a decision of the Social Justice Council
This decision is effective from the date of its issuance by the General Council of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.