Islamic State prisoners, who were pardoned by a council that is expected to govern Raqqa once the group is dislodged from the Syrian city, stand in Ain Issa village, north of Raqqa, Syria June 24, 2017. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
DAMASCUS, June 24 (Xinhua) -- A total of 672 detainees were released from Syrian prisons on Saturday, a day ahead of Eid al-Fitr feast, state news agency SANA reported.
The report said the detainees were from several Syrian provinces, adding that they were released after pledging "not to carry out any act that undermines the safety of the homeland."
The authorities gathered the detainees and released them from the al-Baath Party branch in the capital Damascus, after Justice Minister Hisham al-Sha'ar met with them and gave a speech.
Inside the complex, each detainee carried his identification card and other related documentations in a plastic pack, when al-Sha'ar said their release was "a real chance to think again and re-embrace the homeland."
Women and their children, as well as young men, were among the released, according to reporters invited to cover the event.
Some of them have spent more than three years in prison, while others for a few months only, depending on the charges.
The government usually releases some detainees, mostly with misdemeanors or jailed for political reasons, ahead of the Eid occasion.
The political opposition has repeatedly urged the government to release what it said were tens of thousands of detainees, who were captured against the backdrop of the six-year war.
In February, Amnesty International accused the Syrian authorities of hanging thousands of prisoners and dumping bodies in mass graves in the notorious military prison of Saydnaya, which was repeatedly denied by government officials including President Bashar al-Assad.