Radio Free Europe

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Kazakh President Signs Law On Mass Amnesty Marking 30 Years Of Independence.

NUR-SULTAN -- Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev has signed a law creating a mass amnesty as part of commemorations marking the 30th anniversary of the Central Asian nation's independence.

According to the law, which was signed by Toqaev late on December 7, more than 2,300 inmates and over 11,000 men and women on parole will be affected by the amnesty.

Interior Minister Erlan Turghymbaev said last month when introducing the bill on the amnesty that almost 1,000 inmates will be released from penitentiaries, while parole restrictions imposed on 3,800 others will be lifted.

Turghymbaev also said at the time that the sentences of 1,294 inmates and 7,392 persons on parole will be reduced and that 5,000 pending criminal cases will be closed.

According to official statistics, there are more than 34,000 inmates currently being held in Kazakhstan's 64 prisons and 16 detention centers.

Kazakhstan was the last Soviet republic to declare independence, doing so on December 16, 1991.

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