Tajikistan's president has proposed abolishing the death penalty for women and reducing the number of crimes for which it applies to men.

President Emomali Rahmonov submitted the proposal to parliament as part of legislation amending the criminal code in the former Soviet republic.

A presidential spokesman says the changes are aimed at reform of the legal system and democratization and humanization of laws on crime.

Currently the death penalty can be applied for 15 types of crimes and makes no distinctions as to gender. The changes would reduce the number of capital crimes to five and prohibit the execution of women.

Amnesty International has condemned death penalty practices in Tajikistan, saying suspects have been sentenced and executed in secret. The human rights group says it has confirmed at least 74 executions in 2001 and 29 for the first half of last year.