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Reports: Turkmen President Pardons Nearly 1,500 Prisoners

State media in Turkmenistan are reporting that 1,485 prisoners have been pardoned by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.

Turkmenistan's State Information Agency quoted Berdymukhammedov as saying the amnesty was linked to the Day of the National Flag, which is marked on February 19.

Berdymukhammedov signed the decree on amnesty for "inmates who fully repented in their crimes" at a February 18 cabinet session, according to the reports.

Berdymukhammedov's predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, issued similar amnesty decrees once a year, during the holy month of Ramadan.

Berdymukhammedov has issued such decrees several times.

His last clemency, announced in October, pardoned 1,020 inmates on the eve of the Independence Day, on October 27.

Based on reports by and Interfax