An amnesty is expected to be announced in Tajikistan on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Tajikistan’s Constitution, according to the Tajik president’s official website.  .

On the instruction of the president the President’s Executive Office jointly with representatives of the law enforcement agencies has reportedly worked out a draft law on amnesty that is expected to extend to more than 20,000 people, including foreign nationals.

According to the presidential proposal, placed on his website on October 16, more than 3,000 convicts would be released from penitentiaries and more than 5,000 individuals whose sentences were not associated with imprisonment will be pardoned as well.

The amnesty is reportedly also applied to 2,000 defendants and suspects awaiting legal proceedings in pretrial detention facilities and probe against them will be stopped.  

Prison terms of almost 10,000 inmates will be shortened, according to the presidential proposal.

The draft law has already been submitted for consideration to Tajikistan’s lower house (Majlisi Namoyandagon) of parliament.

Prisoners eligible for release under the upcoming amnesty include people with disabilities, World War II veterans, military deserters, convicts over 55, and those suffering from cancer or other serious illnesses.  The amnesty also extends to persons serving jail terms for economic crimes if they pay damages.

The amnesty also extends to persons serving their jail terms for serious crimes who have served three-quarters of their terms -- except for those found guilty of murder, terrorism, human trafficking, rape, torture and so forth.

There have been 15 mass amnesties in Tajikistan since it gained its independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The amnesties have not affected individuals convicted on politically motivated charges.