Amnesty

by Nathan Hamm on 11/9/2004

It’s that time of year again… The time when the prison gates are opened and Turkmenistan sets most of its prisoners free.

Saparmurat Niyazov instructed heads of regional administrations to take necessary steps to find jobs for the former convicts released from jails under the amnesty.

On December 29, 1999, Turkmenistan adopted the law, “On the annual amnesty and pardon on the occasion of the holy “Gadyr Gijesi”, according to which people convicted for minor crimes are released from jails every year under the amnesty and pardon.

According to the General Prosecutor’s office, a total of 130,000 people have been amnestied in Turkmenistan over 12 years of independence.

130,000 people? That’s about 2.6% of the population… Sounds like they have a recidivism problem. And that can’t help but make me think that the following discussion with prisoners is taking place over and over again.

CHAIRMAN
Got a name for people like you, Hi.
That name is called recidivism.

SECOND MAN
Ree-peat O-fender.

CHAIRMAN
Not a pretty name, is it, Hi?

HI
No Sir, it sure ain’t. That’s one
bonehead name. But that ain’t me
anymore.

CHAIRMAN
You’re not just tellin’ us what we
wanna hear?

HI
No Sir, no way.

SECOND MAN
‘Cause we just wanna hear the truth.

HI
Well then I guess I am tellin’ you
what you wanna hear.

CHAIRMAN
Boy, didn’t we just tell you not to
do that?

HI
Yessir.

CHAIRMAN
Okay then.


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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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