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Some 3,000 To Be Freed In Kyrgyz Prison Amnesty

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan plans to grant an amnesty to almost one-third of those being incarcerated in the country's penitentiaries and detention centers.

The amnesty -- which will affect some 3,000 people -- is intended to mark the 65th anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Parliament approved the amnesty decree on December 26.

The decree was sent to President Almazbek Atambaev for signing, after which it will come into force.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN on December 10, 1948.

More than 10,000 men and women are currently serving prison terms in penitentiaries or being kept in detention centers in Kyrgyzstan.

The last state amnesty for prisoners was announced in Kyrgyzstan last year.

Suspected Jihadist Fighter Arrested

Also in Kyrgyzstan, an alleged jihadist fighter has been arrested after returning from Syria.

The Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security (UKMK) said on December 26 that Alisher Abdukakharov, 27, from Kyrgyzstan's southern Batken region was arrested on December 16.

According to the UKMK, Abdukakharov was detained on suspicion of being a member of an international terrorist organization who had taken part in military operations in Syria between May and October.

A UKMK spokesman, Rakhat Sulaimanov, told journalists that Abdukakharov was known among Islamist fighters in Syria by the nickname "Usama."

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev said on December 16 that the UKMK had revealed the existence of underground groups across Central Asia that were recruiting young Kyrgyz, Kazakh, and Uzbek men to fight on the Islamists' side in Syria.