Libya frees more than 1,600 prisoners

Sept. 3, 2005 at 11:57 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Libyan authorities have released 1,675 prisoners to mark the 36th anniversary of the September 1 Libyan revolution, a newspaper said Saturday.

The Libyan Shams daily quoted judicial sources as saying all the prisoners given amnesty have left jail on Friday after they pledged "not to commit any more crimes."

While these unidentified sources did not say what type of crimes the freed prisoners had committed, Justice Minister Ali al-Hasnawi said last week the amnesty will include those sentenced from 10 years to life.

Al-Hasnawi said the amnesty was unprecedented because previous pardons by the judiciary had included only those who had served at least half their terms or inmates with light sentences.

There were no details on whether the amnesty included Muslim Brotherhood members after Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam, last month said they will be pardoned.

The young Gadhafi's charity organization called for the release of all Islamic prisoners, except for about 500 prisoners charged with belonging to eight groups that advocate violence.

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