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CAUCASUS > Turkmenistan pardons 1,000 prisoners for holiday

ASHGABAT - The Associated Press

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Turkmenistan's president has ordered the release of 1,000 prisoners as part of a mass amnesty to mark a major annual holiday in the gas-rich former Soviet Central Asian nation.

State newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan reported Friday that the pardon applies to prisoners who have "sincerely repented for their deeds." This is the second prison amnesty this year. An unspecified number of people were freed after authoritarian President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov was inaugurated in February after winning his second term with 97 percent of the vote.

No information is available on the exact number of prison inmates in this nation of five million people.
Turkmenistan celebrates the anniversary Friday of the adoption of the Constitution and the national poet's birthday.

May/18/2012

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