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Georgian president's amnesty decree sparks women's prison unrest

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An amnesty decree issued by the Georgian president on the eve of a religious holiday sparked a revolt in a women's prison in Tbilisi that lasted 12 hours, Novosti-Georgia news agency reported Sunday.
TBILISI, April 19 (RIA Novosti) - An amnesty decree issued by the Georgian president on the eve of a religious holiday sparked a revolt in a women's prison in Tbilisi that lasted 12 hours, Novosti-Georgia news agency reported Sunday.

The unrest in the penal colony for women and underage girls started on Saturday after the female inmates learned about Mikheil Saakashvili's decree pardoning 390 people, most of them men, before Easter.

Salome Makharadze, head of the press service of the state penitentiary department, said that the situation had been settled by now, with the initiators of the revolt transferred to another prison.

Dmitry Shashkin, the Georgian minister for penitentiary, probation and legal assistance, earlier said that the female inmates had demanded their release.

"The fulfillment of this demand is unrealistic. It is impossible to release 700 convicts, 40 of whom were convicted for grave crimes, including murders," the minister said.

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