Turkmen President Pardons More Than 1,000 Prisoners

State media in Turkmenistan are reporting that President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has pardoned more than 1,000 prisoners.

Media outlets quote Berdymukhammedov as saying that the amnesty is linked to the Night of Blessing, which is observed by Muslims during their holy month of Ramadan.

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

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 last clemency, announced in February, pardoned 828 inmates on the eve of the Central Asian country's Flag Day holiday.

Such amnesties usually do not cover inmates convicted on politically motivated charges.

Based on reports by turkmenistan.gov.tm and AFP