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Thousands of convicts given amnesty

Jan. 14, 2013 at 10:28 AM

MINSK, Belarus, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- More than 4,200 convicts in Belarus were released from custody because of an amnesty declaration made last year by the president, officials said Monday.

President Alexander Lukashenko declared a nationwide amnesty on July 3, 2012, making more than 18,700 inmates eligible for release, RIA Novosti reported.

Since then, 4,226 were released from custody and 6,957 had their sentences reduced by one year, the Interior Ministry said. About 7,544 convicts were denied amnesty.

The ministry did not give further details but previously said hundreds of underage convicts, pregnant women and women with small children would be freed.

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