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China OKs Amnesty to Mark WWII Anniv.  08/29 09:37

   BEIJING (AP) -- China's legislature on Saturday approved a prisoner amnesty 
as part of commemorations of World War II's end that could see thousands of 
inmates such as war veterans or juveniles released.

   The official Xinhua News Agency said the measure approved could free several 
thousand prisoners by the end of this year, but that the exact number won't be 
known until provincial courts have finished reviewing sentences.

   According to the measure approved by the National People's Congress, those 
eligible include veterans of World War II, the Chinese civil war that ended 
with the Communist victory in 1949 and subsequent conflicts such as the 
1950-1953 Korean War.

   Prisoners over age 75 or below age 18 who were sentenced to three years or 
less will also be included, along with those who are very ill or unable to care 
for themselves.

   Not eligible will be repeat offenders and those guilty of serious crimes 
including embezzlement, bribe-taking, terrorism, organized crime, murder, rape 
and drug offenses.

   The amnesty is the eighth to be offered by the ruling Communist Party since 
1949. Beneficiaries of previous amnesties have included political prisoners 
including the last Qing Dynasty emperor Puyi, who was imprisoned as a Japanese 


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