The North Korean government has decided to grant amnesty to persons convicted of ‘crimes against the country and its people’.
The amnesty was granted on the occasion of the 70 anniversaries of Korea's liberation and the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea, an announcement about the unusual move was posted today on the website of the official news agency of North Korea.
The amnesty will take effect from August 1. The DPRK cabinet and relevant organs will take practical measures to help the released people settle down in their works and living.
The Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK promulgated a decree in this regard on July 9, the announcement said.
The number of persons covered under the amnesty scheme was not mentioned in the announcement.
In a country where persons accused of crimes against the country, an euphemism for political prisoners, are either executed or left to die in harsh labour camps, the announcement of the amnesty is out of the ordinary.
Various estimates have put the number of political prisoners in North Korea between 80,000-120,000.