Turkmenistan has pardoned more than 1,000 prisoners ahead of festivities marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, state media reported on Saturday.
President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov signed an amnesty order "for 1,029 convicts" in the ex-Soviet central Asian country -- nearly twice as many as the 612 convicts released in last year's mass pardon -- Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper reported.
The president called for those pardoned to "contribute to the large-scale work being carried out in the country and faithfully labour for the benefit of the Motherland," Neutral Turkmenistan reported.
Turkmenistan's penitentiary system is among the most closed in the world, although the country's foreign ministry claims that some foreign ambassadors were allowed to visit prisons in two cities last year.
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