Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has declared a general amnesty for crimes committed before Tuesday, the latest in a series of similar decrees since the uprising against his rule began more than two years ago.
State media carried reports of the order, which comes a day before a national holiday celebrating Syria's 1946 independence.
Assad last issued an amnesty decree in October.
Meanwhile, the heads of five United Nations agencies charged with assisting those affected by the Syrian crisis say there is a lack of urgency among governments and other parties that could stop the bloodshed.
The U.N.'s humanitarian chief, the high commissioner for refugees, and the leaders of the World Food Program, World Health Organization and U.N. Children's Fund called on leaders to "meet their responsibility" to the Syrian people.
They urged officials to insist on a political solution, and said the U.N. is "precariously close" to suspending some humanitarian aid.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.
This citizen journalism image provided by AMC shows people on the top of houses that were damaged by an airstrike, Aleppo, Syria, April 15, 2013.
A woman carries her child as she walks on rubble in a neighbourhood in Deir al-Zor, Syria, April 15, 2013.
Members of the Free Syrian army walk with their weapons along a street filled with debris, Deir al-Zor, Syria, April 15, 2013.
A Free Syrian Army fighter mans a checkpoint, while children sit at the back of a pickup truck in Raqqa province, eastern Syria April 15, 2013.
People use a boat to cross the Euphrates River after a bridge was destroyed by shelling, Deir al-Zor, Syria, April 14, 2013.