TBILISI, DFWatch–429 prisoners were released on Wednesday in connection with the Georgian religious holiday Mariamoba.
August 28, Georgia celebrates the assumption of Mary, known as Mariamoba. In connection with the holiday, the president customarily pardons prisoners and this year, the president’s pardon commission gave a positive recommendation for 217 prisoners to get released or have their sentence reduced.
The president pardoned 238 prisoners, among them are two minors and six women. One minor got the sentence reduced to half. All prisoners left jail by the end of the day and will, according to the president’s administration, be eligible to apply for having their records cleared.
191 other prisoners were released after recommendation by the ministry’s pardon commission, a different one than that of the president.
Giga Giorgadze, Deputy Minister of Prison, said at a press conference on Wednesday that the 191 have already left jail.
Among them are 35 women, one of them pregnant, and 156 men, out of whom 19 have serious diseases. All the released have served at least half of their sentence and received a positive evaluation from the prison administration.
Giorgadze explained that the ministry’s pardon commission has reviewed about 300 applications and gave positive recommendations about 191 of them.
Between October 1, 2010, and September 30, 2012, before the parliamentary election, the commission released 841 prisoners, out of whom 790 were men, 39 were women and 12 minors, the deputy minister said. From October 1, 2012, to August 27, 2013, the ministry’s commission released 1 967 prisoners, out of whom 1 687 were men, 249 were women and 31 minors, he said.
After the parliamentary election, the new government introduced a mass amnesty which led to thousands of prisoners being released.