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Law & Legal Issues, Syria


Syria officially joined Monday the United Nations convention banning chemical weapons, the spokesman of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said.

"As of today Syria became a full-fledged state member of the convention," Michael Luhan told dpa.

He said the move comes after "the decision taken a few weeks ago at Syria's request to fast forward the application to enable us to get on with our work."

Around 60 members from the UN-backed OPCW is overseeing the destruction of Syria's stockpile as well as some of its chemical weapons production equipment.


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has signed a decree on general amnesty, SANA agency said on Tuesday.

According to the agency, the amnesty covers all crimes committed before April 16, 2013.

Anti-government protests have continued in Syria for about two years. According to the UN, the total number of victims of the conflict in Syria exceeds 70,000 with around three million in need of humanitarian assistance. Syrian authorities say they oppose the well-armed militants.


Syrian authorities will release 2,100 civilian prisoners today, who were earlier detained in demonstrations in the country, Turkish Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday.

There are Turkish citizens among the prisoners. It is reported that the Syrian authorities agreed to release prisoners in exchange for 48 Iranian citizens detained earlier by Syrian opposition forces.

Exchange of prisoners will be held through the mediation of Qatar and Turkey.

Anti-government protests have continued in Syria for more than a year and half.


The UN Security Council on Thursday slapped sanctions on two Iranian firms accused of involvement in supplying arms to the Syrian government, AFP quoted a UN statement as saying.

Yas Air and the SAD Import Export Company were added to a growing Iran sanctions list for breaching an arms embargo ordered against the Islamic republic for its nuclear drive.

US Ambassador to UN Susan Rice said that the two Iranian firms were "responsible for shipping ammunition, assault rifles, machine guns, mortar shells and other arms from Iran to Syria."


From now on, Syrian Armenians will be able to get Armenian passports in the diplomatic representations of Armenia - in the Embassy in Damascus and Consulate in Aleppo.

Under today's decision of the Armenian government, the process of getting Armenian passports by foreign citizens is facilitated, Mediamax reports.

Under the previous order, Armenian passports were issued to citizens of other states solely by the Visa and Passport Department of the Armenian Police.


The Syrian government declared on Monday the Moroccan ambassador an unwelcome person in the country in response to Rabat's decision to expel its envoy Reuters reported

Morocco asked the Syrian ambassador to leave the North African country calling for a transition to democracy that would meet the Syrian people's aspirations for freedom. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been struggling to crush a 17-month revolt against his rule.


Syria has made torture a state policy against civilians, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Tuesday, calling it crime against humanity that should be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court dpa reproted

The New York-based rights group said it had identified 27 detention centres in Syria, plus government agencies involved and methods used against people suspected of opposing the Damascus-based regime.

"The (Syrian) intelligence agencies are running an archipelago of torture centres scattered across the country," said Ole Solvang, a researcher at Human Rights Watch.


Seven opposition figures who live in Syria were banned by authorities from travelling to Cairo to attend an Arab League-sponsored meeting, the opposition National Coordination Body said dpa reported

"We denounce such irresponsible acts which are being carried out by the (Syrian) security departments," said the statement, adding that authorities had detained two of the group's members, Adnan Debs and Ibrahim al-Bash, in the past few days.


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad granted Wednesday a general amnesty that covers only the penalties provided in for some articles of the law of military service and military sanctions, state-run SANA news agency reported.

The state TV will host a symposium to explain the details of this amnesty, said SANA.

The Syrian government is facing mounting international criticism over its alleged crackdown on opposition strongholds, Xinhua reported.


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied in an interview Wednesday that he had ordered his troops to kill or attack civilians protesting against his rule and insisted he did not feel guilty for the bloodshed, reported dpa.

"Only a crazy person would target his own people," al-Assad told US television network ABC. "There was no command to kill or be brutal. Every brute reaction was by an individual, not an institution, that's what you have to know," he added.