DUSHANBE, July 3, Asia-Plus — 325 women, including 19 members of the outlawed religious extremist Hizb ut-Tahrir organization, have been released under an amnesty law, adopted on occasion of the 10th anniversary of the National Peace Accord, by July 3, Asia-Plus has learned from Gulzora Tayghunshoyeva, a chief inspector with the penitentiary directorate of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).  

According to her, of those 19 female members of the Hizb ut-Tahrir party, 17 were serving their sentences in the women’s penal colony in Norak and two others were held in pretrial detention facility in Khujand.  

Ms. Tayghunshoyeva noted that under Article 1 of the RT Law “On Amnesty”, the amnesty applies on all female prison inmates irrespective of their jail terms, expect those convicted of killing.   

Last year, some 100 persons were arrested in Tajikistan on suspicion of being members of different religious extremist organizations.  The majority of them are alleged members of the Hizb ut-Tahrir party. 

According to the MoJ penitentiary directorate, some 9,000 prisoners are currently in 13 penal colonies in Tajikistan.  In all, 692 prisoners have been released under the National Peace Accord Amnesty by July 3.  “Another some 1,500 prisoners are supposed be amnestied this year,” Tayghunshoyeva said.      

We will recall that the implementation of an August 2006 amnesty law, adopted on occasion of the 15th anniversary of Tajikistan’s Independence, halved Tajikistan’s prison population.  A total of 6,731 inmates were released, while 4,508 others were granted partial amnesty (they had their sentences commuted) under the August 2006 amnesty.  According to the MoJ, before the adoption of the August 2006 amnesty law, 12,000 prisoners were in the jails in Tajikistan.