As Pandemic Looms, Action Is Needed to Protect Syria’s Vulnerable Prison Population
A recent amnesty law is a possible sign that the Syrian government recognizes it could be facing a public health crisis, even if publicly available information at the time of this writing indicates that the country has recorded only an improbable 39 coronavirus cases. But, as our paper notes, past amnesties have essentially amounted to nothing in practice or have fallen far short of their promises, sometimes simply creating new ways to put Syrians in danger. So far, it is reported that only a few hundred detainees have been released out of an estimated population of 128,000. The Syrian Network for Human Rights put it starkly: At the current rate the government is applying the 17 existing amnesty laws, it would take 325 years to release the country’s detained persons, an estimated 80 percent of whom were forcibly disappeared.

https://www.ictj.org/news/pand …