Friday, May 18, 2012 -
Turkmenistan has pardoned 1000 prison inmates in a move coinciding with the 18th anniversary of the adoption of the country’s constitution, state media reported on Friday.
The Turkmen leader, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, regularly issues mass pardons to commemorate national holidays. The practice was initiated by his predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, who held power from Turkmenistan’s independence until late 2006.
Of the 1000 prisoners to be released from custody, 35 of these are foreign nationals, the Reuters news agency reported.
“Criminals who have sincerely repented are regularly pardoned in our country,” Berdimuhamedov said on state television.
This is the second major amnesty this year, with the first occurring in February to mark the inauguration of Berdimuhamedov to a new term of office.
The total number of prison inmates is unknown, as Turkmenistan is a notoriously repressive state and provides little insight into its domestic sphere.