BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar Assad announced a wide-ranging amnesty on Monday, less than a week after he was re-elected to another seven-year term in the midst of civil war.

In a decree published by state media, Assad commuted some death sentences to life imprisonment, reduced jail terms for many offenses and cancelled some others altogether.

Foreigners who entered the country "to join a terrorist group or perpetrate a terrorist act" would receive an amnesty if they surrender to authorities within a month, the decree said. Kidnappers who free their hostages and army deserters would also be covered, it said


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