June 29, 2019 / 12:59 PM / 18 days ago

China grants prisoner amnesty ahead of 70th anniversary of state founding

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping signed an order for a prisoner amnesty on Saturday, to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, though many exceptions will apply.

Nine categories of prisoner will be pardoned, including convicts who fought against the Japanese in World War Two, those aged over 75 and with serious physical disabilities, or convicts who had previously been named model workers, state news agency Xinhua said.

But convicts who have committed serious crimes such as embezzlement, taking bribes, endangering national security and so on will not be covered by the amnesty, Xinhua added.

The report did not say how many people may be eligible for release. State television said the last time this was done, in 2015, 31,527 convicts were pardoned.

The People’s Republic of China will celebrate its 70th birthday on Oct. 1, probably with a mass military parade through central Beijing.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Stephen Powell

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