Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev has pardoned dozens of inmates on the eve of Eid al-Fitr -- a holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that will be celebrated later this week.
According to the June 12 presidential decree, 173 inmates will be released from prisons -- 71 of them on parole. In addition to that, 39 inmates will be transferred to more lenient custody, while prison terms for 14 inmates will be reduced.
Forty of the pardoned convicts are individuals older than 60, 39 of them are foreigners, and 37 are women, Uzbek state media reported.
Mirziyoev's predecessor, Islam Karimov, whose death was announced in September 2016, never pardoned convicts on Eid al-Fitr.
Uzbekistan has the largest population -- more than 30 million people -- among the five former Central Asian Soviet republics with deeply rooted Islamic heritage and traditions.