The statement says the amnesty is intended to thank the Iraqi people for their 100 percent vote on a referendum last week to return President Saddam to his position for another seven years.
Amnesty International has accused Iraq of holding thousands of political prisoners and of torturing and executing its political opponents.
On American televison Sunday morning (A-B-C's This Week), U-S Secretary of State Colin Powell criticized the prisoner releases, saying they are evidence of Saddam Hussein's use and manipulation of human beings for political purposes.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi cabinet, after a meeting Sunday chaired by President Saddam, said nothing justifies the adoption of a new U-N Security Council resolution on dealing with weapons inspections. The United States wants the Council to adopt a compromise resolution that would toughen the inspections process and penalties for non-compliance.