Georgia frees 190 political prisoners under amnesty

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 14, 2013 05:13 hrs

Tbilisi: Some 190 inmates considered political prisoners have been freed in Georgia under amnesty which came into effect Sunday, following the parliament's overturning of the president's veto.

Many of those walking free were arrested for participating in protests staged by Georgia's opposition between 2005 and 2011.

President Mikheil Saakashvili, who strongly opposes the move, had vetoed the bill on political amnesty in late December. However, the parliament later overturned the president's veto.

Some 3,000 prisoners will be eventually released under the law on amnesty, which was signed by Parliamentary Speaker Davit Usupashvili Saturday.

In his address to the nation, the Georgian president said he wanted to protect society from the consequences of the amnesty that would release criminals, including "Russian spies".

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