U.N. chief calls on Syria to stop killings as Assad issues amnesty

A mention in The Los Angeles Times:

It was Assad’s third amnesty offer in the last 10 months. Activists remain skeptical and claim few detainees have been freed after earlier orders. No lists with names of released detainees appear to have have been published. Assad, who succeeded his late father Hafez in 2000, has also vowed to hold parliamentary elections under new constitutional principles later this year.

“Each previous offer has resulted in the release of a few hundred only, while thousands more have been arrested,” said U.S.-based Syrian opposition activist and blogger Ammar Abdulhamid. “Assad gives little with one hand, takes much more with the other. His words are always designed to deceive and his actions always designed to repress and reestablish control.”