Damascus: Less than 100 men evacuated from besieged, rebel-held areas of the Syrian city of Homs earlier this month are still being held for questioning, governor Talal Barazi said Thursday.
He told AFP that the detainees were "draft evaders, deserters or common law criminals."
"To start with, there were 522 males aged 15 to 55 years being held for interrogation. Four hundred and thirty-one have since been released, and 91 are still being questioned," Barazi told AFP.
"Among them are 47 draft evaders and nine deserters. The other 35 are wanted for common law crimes. We are waiting a decision from the authorities on their cases," he added.
Last April, President Bashar al-Assad announced a partial amnesty for "army deserters" provided they handed themselves in within 30 days if in Syria, or 90 if they were outside the country.
According to Barazi, the men "could not benefit (from the amnesty) because they were unable to leave the Old City of Homs," which has been under army siege for more than a year and a half.
Some 1,400 people were evacuated in several waves starting February 7, thanks to a UN-supervised deal between the regime and rebel fighters.