Azerbaijan to likely ink amnesty act by late 2009
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 14 / Trend , A.Huseynbala/
The Pardon Commission under the Azerbaijani President does not rule out signing an amnesty act by late 2009.
"Appeals of prisoners for pardon have been examined and submitted to the commission," Member of the Pardon Commission and Parliamentarian Elmira Akhundova told Trend on Nov. 14.
Azerbaijani First Lady and Member of Parliament Mehriban Aliyeva submitted an amnesty bill on March 10 to parliament. The bill concerned 9,000 prisoners. The parliament approved the bill on the eve of Novruz on March 17. The bill envisaged releasing 1,700 prisoners.
In accordance with 45 signed pardon decrees, 4,858 people have been released since 1994. Ilham Aliyev inked 13 decrees and Heydar Aliyev - 32 decrees. Eight amnesty acts have been signed so far concerning 40,000 prisoners.
Akhundova said delay in the discussions of the Pardon Commission is connected with the Amnesty Act, adopted upon the initiative of Azerbaijani First Lady, Heydar Aliyev Foundation President and Member of Parliament Mehriban Aliyeva in early 2009. "There are prisoners among those who were released in accordance with the Amnesty Act. A list of these prisoners has already been compiled," the parliamentarian said.
The member of the commission said the amnesty has been applied to almost half of the prisoners appealing to us for pardon. "I think the commission will launch discussions, as this difficult process has finished. Therefore, it is expected to sign a pardon decree in late 2009," Akhudova stressed.
The parliamentarian said almost 100 prisoners had appealed to her for the pardon.
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