Kazakh Amnesty To Affect Tens Of Thousands

Kazakh authorities say a proposed mass amnesty of prisoners would affect tens of thousands of people.

President Nursultan Nazarbaev proposed the amnesty on November 29 to mark the 25th anniversary of Kazakhstan's independence.

Lawmakers are expected to adopt the proposal before Independence Day on December 16.

Deputy Prosecutor-General Iogan Merkel said on December 2 that if adopted, it would affect 30,000 convicts and people held in pretrial detention.

He said 1,800 of them would be freed and the rest would see their prison terms shortened.

Merkel declined to comment on the possible release of recently jailed land-reform protesters and the chairman of the Kazakh Journalists' Union, Seitqazy Mataev.

Some 36,000 persons are currently in Kazakhstan's jails either serving prison sentences or awaiting trial.

Based on reporting by Tengrinews and Kazinform