Turkmenistan to free prisoners on victory day

Former Soviet Turkmenistan will free almost 1,000 prisoners this week as part of celebrations marking the Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, official media reported on Tuesday.

Turkmenistan to free prisoners on victory day
President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov signed a decree on Tuesday allowing 923 prisoners, including an unspecified number of foreigners, to go home early in a national amnesty linked to May 9 Victory Day celebrations, official media reported.

Mass amnesties are regular occurrences in the gas-producing Caspian nation, first introduced as a gesture of goodwill by Niyazov during his otherwise eccentric 21-year rule.

Soldiers from Turkmenistan, just like from other ex-Soviet states, took part in Moscow's war with Nazi Germany in the 1940s in which an estimated 27 million Soviet citizens were killed.

Last October, Berdymukhamedov pardoned 9,000 prisoners and then another 1,000 earlier this year. Turkmenistan's total prison population is unclear but human rights groups say a large number of political prisoners are still in jail.

Reuters
Last Mod: 06 Mayıs 2008, 17:16
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