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Tajikistan Offers Financial Assistance To Some Amnestied Prisoners

KHUJAND, Tajikistan -- Tajik authorities have said they will offer financial help under a reintegration program to former prisoners who were recently amnestied, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The Tajik State Agency for Employment, Migration, and Social Welfare's branch in the northern town of Khujand said it has a list of 64 former prisoners who were amnestied this month and are eligible for a three-month living allowance from the government.

Muhsin Mirkamolov, a State Agency official in Khujand, told RFE/RL on September 28 that, thus far, only four of the former inmates have come to receive their allowance, which is 80 somoni ($16.7) per month.

Officials in Khujand, the administrative center of the Sughd Province, said about 1,000 inmates were released from penitentiaries in the north under the amnesty, in which 4,000 were freed nationwide.

Mirkamolov said that inmates who want to learn new professions could study in a government employment center and take various job-related courses.

A woman named Muhayyo told RFE/RL that she spent one year in jail before being released in an amnesty announced to mark the 20th anniversary of Tajikistan's independence on September 9.

She said her brother helped her open a small shop where she works.

But another released prisoner, Farhod, told RFE/RL that he has been unable to find a place to live in order to obtain the official registration needed to gain employment.