BISHKEK, April 24. Kyrgyzstan's Legislative Assembly (lower house of parliament) today approved an amnesty for 786 inmates in the country's prisons. The amnesty must be signed into law by President Askar Akayev before going into effect.
Deputy of the Legislative Assembly, and the leader of the opposition “Asaba” (“Flag”) National Revival Party Azimbek Beknazarov, told the lower house that Kyrgyzstan's prisons are "overflowing." He cited a women's prison intended to house 100 people that actually houses 700.
Beknazarov said the amnesty will apply to women over the retirement age, disabled people, first-time offenders and war veterans. He said AIDS and tuberculosis patients are n-o-t subject to the amnesty because, he said, past cases show that they tend not to seek treatment and can infect others.