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ICC NOTE: In a surprising move coming out of Uzbekistan, the senate approved mass pardons for prisoners within the authoritarian nation. Coming off the heels of the death of long time president Islam Karimov, the acting President proposed the move in what can only be considered an attempt to raise support for his election in the coming months. On a positive note, the likelihood of prisoners of conscience and detained Christians will be among those released. The pardons range from the underage, elderly, handicapped, and foreign nationals. Whether or not the move is used for political purposes, it will be of interested to see whether Christian prisoners are among those released. 

10/12/2016 Uzbekistan (Radio Free Europe) – The Uzbek Senate has approved acting President Shavkat Mirziyaev’s proposal for a mass amnesty of prisoners.

The pardon and its implementation were approved by the upper house of parliament on September 12. The amnesty was adopted in honor of Constitution Day, which is marked on December 8.

The Uzbek Senate is the only body whose approval is necessary for the amnesty to come into force.

The amnesty means that female inmates, people who were convicted of crimes when they were underage, male inmates over 60 years of age, foreigners, and handicapped prisoners, among others, will be released from prison.

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