People in Tajikistan hope there will be an amnesty this year on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Tajikistan’s Independence.  

Meanwhile a source at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) says it is still premature to speak about this issue.  

“But usually, amnesty is granted on the occasion of the big holidays, the Leader of the Nation does not forget about the prisoners and announces an amnesty,” said the source.  “There will be amnesty, but it is not yet known when the president will sign the law.  Perhaps the law will be signed by the end of August and then the number of convicts eligible for amnesty will be announced.” 

Usually, amnesty is declared in Tajikistan on occasion of jubilee anniversaries of major public holidays.

This, the previous amnesty was declared in Tajikistan in October 2019 to mark the 25th anniversary of the adoption of Tajikistan’s Constitution.

The 2019 amnesty extended to more than 20,000 people.  3,100 convicts were released from prisons and 3,000 inmates of corrective labor colonies were released.  Besides, 4,500 individuals whose sentences were not associated with imprisonment were pardoned as well.  The amnesty also applied to 600 defendants and suspects awaiting legal proceedings in pretrial detention facilities and probe against them were stopped.

The released prisoners included 165 of 300 women serving their jail terms in a female penal, and 58 of 75 minors serving their terms in juvenile correctional facilities.

Prisoners eligible for release under the 2019 amnesty also included foreign nationals, people with disabilities, World War II veterans, military deserters, convicts over 55, and those suffering from cancer or other serious illnesses.  The amnesty also extended to persons serving jail terms for economic crimes if they pay damages.

The amnesty also extended 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.

In addition, prison terms of almost 10,000 inmates will be shortened.

There have been 16 mass amnesties in Tajikistan since it gained its independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  It is to be noted that the amnesties have not affected individuals convicted on politically motivated charges.