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Azerbaijani Leader Pardons Hundreds Of Prisoners

10 May 2004 -- Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev granted amnesty to more than 360 prisoners today, including three who are listed by international human rights groups as political prisoners.

The presidential decree coincides with the 81st anniversary of the birth of Azerbaijan's late president Heidar Aliyev, the current president's father.

Most of those released were serving prison sentences for dodging mandatory military service or deserting the military.