Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has proposed a mass amnesty of prisoners to mark the 25th anniversary of his country’s independence.
Nazarbaev sent the proposal to the lower chamber of parliament on November 29, where it is likely to be quickly approved.
Under the proposed amnesty, female inmates, people who were convicted of crimes when they were minors, male inmates over 60 years of age, handicapped prisoners, and others would be released from prison.
The exact number of prisoners that would be affected by the pardon is unknown, but could be in the thousands.
Kazakhstan’s last mass amnesty for prisoners was adopted in 2001 in honor of the 20th anniversary of independence and resulted in the release of nearly 27,000 prisoners, according to Human Rights Watch.
Kazakhstan announced its independence on December 16, 1991, the last Soviet republic to do so.
Based on reporting by Tengrinews and Kazinform