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Turkmenistan Grants Amnesty To 1,200 Prisoners

Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov (file photo)

Turkmen state media is reporting that some 1,200 prisoners have been pardoned in a sweeping amnesty.

State media quotes President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov as saying that the amnesty, announced May 16, was in keeping with the country's practice of regularly freeing prisoners who had sincerely repented.

The amnesty comes ahead of the country's Constitution Day on May 18.

It follows a visit by Berdymukhammedov to Vienna last week for talks with Austrian President Heinz Fischer that reportedly touched on widespread rights abuses in Turkmenistan.

Based on reporting by AFP