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Turkmenistan: 379 Foreigners Granted Amnesty From Prisons

Ashkhabad, 1 March 1999 (RFE/RL) -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov today signed decrees granting amnesty to 379 foreigners serving terms in Turkmen prisons. The Itar-Tass news agency reported that Niyazov announced his decision at a government meeting.

Last month, Niyazov granted amnesty to 85 Russians, 129 Afghans, and 40 Iranians. Today's decision affects prisoners from 14 countries.

A report released last week by the U.S. State Department criticized Turkmenistan's human rights record, saying the country's prisons remain poor and unsafe.