Reports released by some media outlets that an amnesty will be announced in Tajikistan this year on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the country’s Constitution do not correspond to the facts, an official source at the Tajik government told Asia-Plus in an interview.    

“In accordance with the norms of the Constitution, it is the prerogative of the President alone to announce amnesty,” said the source.  “Before announcing amnesty, the President sets up a working group from among senior representatives from the law enforcement agencies, the Ministry of Justice and President’s Executive Office to draft a bill on amnesty.  Meanwhile, such a group has yet been set up so far.”  

“However, the head of state can make such a decision closer to the holiday, in mid-October.  But I emphasize that these are my assumptions,” the source added.  

In Tajikistan, an amnesty is usually announced on the occasion of anniversaries of the main national holidays.

There have been fifteen amnesties in Tajikistan since 1991.  The previous 15th amnesty was announced in Tajikistan in August 216 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Tajikistan’s Independence.  Under this amnesty, more than 12,000 prisoners were released or had their jail terms reduced.      

Under the amnesty that was declared in October 2014 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Tajikistan’s Constitution, more than 15,000 prisoners were released or had their jail terms reduced.

Usually, prisoners eligible for release under amnesty include people with disabilities, World War II veterans, military deserters, women, convicts over 55, and those suffering from cancer or other serious illnesses.  The amnesty does not extend to persons found guilty of murder, terrorism, or other serious crimes.