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Turkmenistan Pardons 1,000 Prisoners

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov
Turkmenistan's president has ordered the release of 1,000 prisoners, as the country marked a major annual holiday.

State-run media said the pardon applied to inmates who have "sincerely repented for their deeds."

It was not clear how the prisoners demonstrated repentance for their wrongdoing.

It was the second prison amnesty this year in the authoritarian Central Asian nation.

An unspecified number of people were freed after authoritarian President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov was inaugurated in February.

The amnesty came as Turkmenistan on May 18 celebrated the anniversary of the adoption of the country's constitution, as well as the birthday of 18th-century poet Magtymguly Pyragy.

Based on reporting by AP and RFE/RL's Turkmen Service