Turkmen president pardoned 796 prisoners on the eve of Neutrality Day.  In Turkmenistan, pardon is a frequent practice, while it has not yet settled down in Tajikistan. 

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov yesterday signed a decree on pardoning 800 prisoners, according to eadaily.com.  The amnesty was reportedly linked to Turkmenistan’s Neutrality Day, which is marked on December 12. 

Neutrality Day of Turkmenistan is the second most important state holiday in Turkmenistan.  This date is celebrated in Turkmenistan annually on December 12.  December 12, 1995 was adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution number 50/80, which expressed the hope that "the status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan will contribute to peace and security in the region."

The previous amnesty was given by Turkmen president to 828 prisoners in February last year, on the eve of Turkmenistan’s Flag Day holiday, which is on February 19.

Berdymukhammedov has reportedly issued such decrees several times a year, usually on the eve of state holidays.  Such clemencies, however, do not cover inmates convicted on politically motivated charges.

His predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, issued similar amnesty decrees once a year during the holy month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, pardon practice has not yet settled down in Tajikistan.  

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon last year signed a decree on establishing a special commission on pardon issues.  This commission is a consultative-and-advisory body. 

In Tajikistan, pardon is not a frequent practice while amnesties are usually declared on the occasion of round dates.  

Thus, 10,000 prisoners were amnestied in 2014 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Tajikistan’s Constitution.

In 2011, amnesty was declared for 15,000 prisoners on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of country’s Independence.

The latest, fifteenth, amnesty was declared in Tajikistan in August 2016.  It was linked to the 25th anniversary of Tajikistan’s Independence.  More than 12,000 prisoners were amnestied.