Accessibility links

Breaking News

Turkmen Leader Pardons More Than 2,000 Convicts On Norouz


Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov (file photo)

Turkmenistan's president has pardoned 2,028 prisoners, state media reported.

Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov was quoted March 21 as saying that the amnesty was linked to the Norouz new year holiday.

Berdymukhammedov, an authoritarian ruler who controls all aspects of Turkmen society, has issued such decrees several times a year, usually on the eve of state holidays.

His predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, issued similar amnesty decrees once a year during Ramadan.

Norouz is the pre-Islamic Persian New Year celebration of spring that starts on the vernal equinox, which usually occurs around March 20. It is marked in many countries in Western and Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, and the Balkans.

Berdymukhammedov's previous act of clemency, announced in December, pardoned 796 inmates to mark the International Day of Neutrality.

Turkmenistan has been recognized by the United Nations as a permanently neutral state since December 1995.

Such acts of clemency usually do not cover political prisoners.

With reporting by turkmenistan.gov.tm

The Gandhara Briefing

Subscribe here for the week’s best reporting and analysis on Afghanistan and Pakistan by Abubakar Siddique, the editor of RFE/RL’s Gandhara project.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

XS
SM
MD
LG