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Turkmen President Pardons Hundreds Of Inmates

Turkman President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov (file photo)

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has pardoned 764 inmates on the occasion of a religious holiday, according to state media reports.

Berdymukhammedov on May 29 was quoted as saying that the pardons marked the Night of Revelation, an important stage during the holy month of Ramadan, which is currently being observed by Muslims around the world.

His predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, issued similar amnesty decrees once a year during Ramadan.

Berdymukhammedov, an authoritarian ruler who controls all aspects of Turkmen society, has issued such decrees several times a year, usually on the eve of state holidays.

His previous act of clemency, announced in March, pardoned more than 2,000 inmates to mark the Norouz holiday, the pre-Islamic Persian New Year celebration of spring that starts on the vernal equinox.

Such acts usually do not cover political prisoners.