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Iraq officials release 122 detainees under new amnesty law

[JURIST] The Iraqi government on Monday released 122 detainees from a prison in Sulaimaniyah under an amnesty law [JURIST report] passed in February as part of the national reconciliation effort. The release was part of an effort to ease crowding in Iraqi prisons and reintegrate people convicted of minor crimes back into society; most of the released detainees were low-ranking army officers or minor members of Saddam Hussein's defunct Baath Party [BBC backgrounder]. Iraqi officials plan to release more detainees in Baghdad on Thursday.

The amnesty law does not apply to Iraqis held in US custody, but a spokesperson for coalition detainee operations said that almost 8,000 detainees held at coalition detention centers have been released since September. USA Today has more.

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