On Wednesday, the Bashar al-Assad regime released about 46 prisoners from the Hama Central Prison in exchange for them agreeing to perform military service and fight alongside the Assad regime, within a month of their release.
In a statement to the Russian Sputnik agency, Major General Khalid Halal, the head of police in Hama province, said, “The release of this batch of prisoners comes after an amnesty issued by Bashar al-Assad.” He said that, “those released will return to their families and relatives to participate in the defense of their nation and its interests, because Syria is everyone’s country, and they must defend it.”
The public prosecutor for Hama province, Jihad Murad, said that the release of the prisoners comes after they pledged to become, “loyal recruits in the defense of the country and its sovereignty.”
According to an unofficial source, those whose status was settled by presidential pardon will perform compulsory or reserve service in Assad’s forces within a month of the date of their release.
There were 106 prisoners included in the pardon, some of them released a few days ago, after the rulings previously issued against them by field and terrorism courts were amended, with the last batch released today.
In recent years, the Hama prison has seen movements by prisoners, most famously the revolt in 2016, when they protested that their right to be released was not being met. They held the prisoner director and city police chief in a rebellion the second of its kind within a month.
This prison is the biggest civil prison in Syria, and prisoners there have been able to get their voices into the world after obtaining cell phones in exchange for money.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.