The Prison Ministry’s pardon commission during a session in November, 2013. (Ministry photo.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia has released 87 prisoners in connection with New Year’s Day. Four of the released are women and 83 are men, according to the Prison Ministry.

The decision was made by the ministry’s pardon commission, one of two such bodies that recommend prisoners for pardon.

The commission met on December 27, 30 and 31 to review the cases of about 800 prisoners. 87 of them of them were recommended for release.

According to the ministry, 1 578 prisoners have now been released by the decisions made by this commission from January 1, 2013 to December 31.

14 of the prisoners had their sentence replaced with community service.

From October 1, 2012, to December 31, 2013, 2 519 prisoners were released before serving out their sentence. 294 of them were women, 2 183 were men and 42 were minors.

From October 1, 2010, to October 1, 2012, 841 prisoners were released in the same way. 12 were minors, 39 women and 790 were men.

After coming to power in October 2012, the Georgian Dream government passed a mass amnesty law which lead to more than 8 000 prisoners being released.