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Uzbek Senators Approve Prisoner Amnesty

The amnesty is the first clemency adopted since acting Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev took office.

The Uzbek Senate has approved acting President Shavkat Mirziyaev's proposal for a mass amnesty of prisoners.

The pardon and its implementation were approved by the upper house of parliament on September 12. The amnesty was adopted in honor of Constitution Day, which is marked on December 8.

The Uzbek Senate is the only body whose approval is necessary for the amnesty to come into force.

The amnesty means that female inmates, people who were convicted of crimes when they were underage, male inmates over 60 years of age, foreigners, and handicapped prisoners, among others, will be released from prison.

It is not known exactly how many prisoners are affected by the pardon.

The amnesty is the first clemency adopted after long-term Uzbek leader Islam Karimov's death was officially announced on September 2.

Previous amnesties linked to Constitution Day were adopted only several days before the December 8 holiday.

Many in Uzbekistan consider Mirziyaev's early announcement of a prisoner pardon as a way to win more supporters ahead of the December 4 presidential election.

Based on reporting by Interfax and Trend