Convicts who fought for the country in the second world war are expected to be among the inmates freed from jail as the national legislature prepares to grant amnesties to mark the 70th anniversary of the conflict's end. But those convicted of corruption will stay behind bars. The legislature is also deliberating a draft amendment to prevent inmates given suspended death sentences for graft from applying for parole after their penalty is commuted to life in jail, according to mainland media. Beijing has granted amnesties seven times since 1949, the last in 1975. More than 12,000 prisoners have been freed in the national releases, including "war criminals" who followed Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek and "counter-revolutionaries". The legislature said four categories of prisoners who were sentenced before January 1 and who did not pose a threat to society would be released. The prisoners included those who fought in the war against the Japanese and against the Kuomintang; those who fought in other wars after 1949 to "protect the country's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity"; those older than 75 and physically disabled; and those who were under 18 when they committed their crimes, state-run Xinhua quoted Li Shishi, head of the National People's Congress Standing Committee's legislative affairs commission, as saying. But inmates convicted of serious crimes such as murder, rape, bribery, corruption, organised crime and terror offences would not be freed, Li said. The exceptions were due to the complexity of the nation's ongoing graft crackdown and also to maintain "political security" and public safety, he said. Patrick Poon, China researcher with Amnesty International in Hong Kong, said the amnesty was mere "rhetoric" and he did not think it was being granted in line with legal procedures. "We can't see any rationale for maintaining the Chinese government's call for promoting the rule of law," Poon said. "[The amnesty] is more political than legal." The move also raised questions about whether high-profile prisoners, such as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo , would also be released. "That's very unlikely, or impossible," Beijing-based political analyst Zhang Lifan said. "There's leniency on the surface, but only a small number of prisoners will benefit." Separately, the legislature is examining a draft amendment to a law to bar corruption convicts on suspended death sentences from parole or having their sentences further reduced after being commuted to life in jail, The Beijing News reported. Suspended death sentences are usually commuted to life behind bars after two years in jail.