Uzbek President Pardons 100 Inmates Ahead Of Eid Al-Fitr

By RFE/RL's Uzbek Service

TASHKENT -- Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev has pardoned 100 inmates on the eve of the Eid al-Fitr Islamic holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Reports by state media say that according to a decree signed by Mirziyoev on May 12, three inmates were completely released from prison and 43 were released on parole, while 10 convicts had their sentences replaced with more lenient ones.

In addition, the prison terms of 44 inmates were shortened.

Those pardoned include 12 foreigners, four men above the age of 60, six women, and 52 people convicted for taking part in the activities of banned groups.

Eid al-Fitr, which is celebrated after the end of Ramadan, the month during which Muslims do not eat or drink during the daytime, is one of the most important holidays in the Islamic world.

Uzbek authorities said earlier that the holiday will be celebrated for four days this year.

State media reported that Mirziyoev held phone talks with his Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Tajik counterparts to exchange holiday greetings.

The Ramadan fast is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate.

There are some 1.8 billion Muslims, making up almost one-quarter of the world's population.

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