The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has welcomed the decision by Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov and the Tajik parliament to give amnesty to some 19,000 prisoners and jailed criminals suspects.
OSCE Chairman-in-Office Mircea Geoana, who is also Romania's Foreign Minister, issued a statement in which he noted with appreciation the humanitarian character of the decision.
The amnesty, to mark the country's 10th anniversary of independence on September 9, applies to those who have not committed serious crimes, as well as to foreigners, pregnant women, mothers of large families, disabled and elderly people, army veterans and tuberculosis sufferers.
It does not apply to terrorists, repeat offenders, people convicted of high treason, and those involved in the drug trade.
In its press release, the OSCE chairmanship strongly encourages Tajikistan to continue to pursue all efforts to promote the democratic process, including the observance of human rights and guaranteeing the fundamental freedoms of its citizens.