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Turkmen President Pardons More Than 1,000 Prisoners

State media in Turkmenistan are reporting that some 1,020 prisoners have been pardoned by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.

State media quotes Berdymukhammedov as saying the amnesty was linked to the 24th anniversary of the Central Asian nation's independence, which is marked on October 27.

According to the reports, Berdymukhammedov signed the decree on amnesty on October 26 "following a long-established noble tradition" at the joint session of the cabinet and the State Security Council.

Before Berdymukhammedov’s presidency, his predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, issued similar amnesty decrees once a year, in the holy month of Ramadan.

Berdymukhammedov has issued such decrees several times a year, usually on the eve of state holidays. His last clemency, announced in May, pardoned 1,200 inmates on the eve of the Constitution Day, marked in Turkmenistan on May 18.

Based on reports by and Interfax