In Focus | Syria

Syria to jail anyone entering country illegally

Hefty fines and a sentence from one to five years to be imposed on anyone caught

  • AFP
  • Published: 18:16 June 25, 2013
  • Gulf News

Damascus: Syrian President Bashar Al Assad promulgated a law on Tuesday imposing a prison sentence and fine on anyone entering the country illegally, state news agency Sana said.

“Any person who enters Syrian territory in an illegal manner will face between a year and five years in prison,” the text published by Sana said.

The law also imposes “a fine of between five million and 10 million Syrian pounds ($25,000-$50,000)”.

Numerous foreign journalists have entered Syria illegally, usually over the border from Turkey, to report on the war there.

The government has granted relatively few media visas, and journalists have complained of being constrained in their coverage on the government side.

Some journalists entering illegally have been detained by government forces and later released, while others have disappeared altogether, with no information on who is holding them.

Syrian media also regularly refer to “infiltrations into Syria by armed groups” from neighbouring countries.

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