Berdimuhamedow pardons over 1,600 to mark Turkmenistan's Independence Day
ASHGABAT. Oct 26 (Interfax) - Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow has signed executive orders pardoning over 1,600 convicts on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of Turkmenistan's independence, the State News Agency reported.
"The decisions were based on the principles of mercy and humanism and aimed at strengthening the unity and cohesion of Turkmen society and every family and fostering friendship between countries and peoples," the report said.
The president said at an expanded government meeting on October 25 that Turkmenistan has always pardoned convicts on the occasion of major national holidays.
The president signed the executive order, which pardoned 1,636 convicts, both citizens of Turkmenistan and foreigners, and ordered the State Security Council Secretary and Defense Minister, Yaylym Berdiyew, and heads of law-enforcement agencies to make sure that all pardoned convicts return home and celebrate the holiday together with their families.
Turkmenistan observes its Independence Day on October 27.
On June 16, the president pardoned 1,029 citizens of Turkmenistan on the occasion of the Laylat al-Qadr holiday, which is sacred for Muslims.