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ASHGABAT, February 18 (Itar-Tass) —— On Friday, his inauguration day, Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who has entered his second five-year tenure of office, signed an amnesty bill, the national television said without mentioning how many convicts would be set free.
The amnesty was timed for Turkmenistan’s State Flag Day, marked on February 19. The head of state instructed the heads of the local authorities in cities and districts to create jobs for the released.
Mass amnesties in Turkmenistan have been held since 1999, when the country abolished the capital punishment. The largest amnesty was declared in 2002, when 16,200 convicts regained freedom.
2011 saw three amnesties – in August, on the occasion of the Muslim Night of Forgiveness (3,700), in October, in honor of the country’s 20th anniversary (1,700), and in December, on Neutrality Day (750).