President Bashar al-Assad (L) accepts the credentials of the new ambassadors of the People's Republic of China (PRC) to Syria Wang Qi Jian (C) in Damascus on June 9, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/HO/SANA)
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The amnesty was announced on state television five days after Assad was announced re-elected with nearly 90 percent in a ballot decried as a "farce" by much of the international community.In April 2013 it announced an amnesty pardoning soldiers who had deserted but not taken up arms against the government.The Observatory said the amnesty announcement came less than 24 hours after the families of 25 people being held in regime facilities had been informed their relatives had died under torture.The amnesty announcement comes three days after several hundred detainees were released by the authorities.
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