Uzbek President Marks Constitution Day With Pardons, Easing Sentences Of Dozens Of Convicts
By RFE/RL's Uzbek Service December 08, 2020
TASHKENT -- Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev has pardoned or eased the sentences of 104 convicts as part of the commemorations of Constitution Day, the national holiday marked on December 8.
According to a decree from the president, those individuals who were convicted of crimes but since have expressed "deep remorse" while serving their terms and shown that they have "chosen the path of rehabilitation" have been pardoned.
Six of the pardoned individuals were released immediately, while 50 other inmates had their prison terms replaced by suspended sentences. In addition, 17 convicts will see their prison terms changed to sentences with parole-like restrictions, while the prison terms of another 41 convicts were reduced.
The pardoned individuals include, among other convicts, one woman, 13 foreign nationals, nine people older than 60, and 21 inmates convicted for being members of banned groups and organizations.
Mirziyoev's decree was timed to coincide with the 28th anniversary of the constitution Uzbekistan adopted on December 8, 1992, months after it gained independence in the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Pardons have become a regular part of marking Uzbek holidays.
Last year, Mirziyoev pardoned 92 convicts on Constitution Day.
Earlier this year, he pardoned more than 500 people due to various important state and religious holidays.
Since taking over Central Asia's most populous nation of 32 million following the death of the first Uzbek President Islam Karimov in 2016, Mirziyoev, unlike his predecessor, has pardoned hundreds of people and released several jailed journalists, politicians, and others seen by rights groups as political prisoners.
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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