Amnesty Act to Affect 2,000-3,000 Prisoners in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend K.Zarbaliyeva / Nazim Alakbarov, the deputy justice minister of Azerbaijan and head of the Penitentiary Service, stated that the Act on Amnesty, adopted in connection to what would have been ex Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev 84th birthday will relate to 2,000-3,000 prisoners. He noted that until the approval of the draft law, it is impossible to state the exact number of inmates to whom the act will affect. The Amnesty act will be applied after the adoption of the law.
On 1 May the Azerbaijani Parliament put forward for discussion a draft law on Amnesty. The bill was discussed at the proposal of MP Mehriban Aliyeva, the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The document envisages the release of 1,500 convicted prisoners and a reduction in the sentences of some 7,500 prisoners.
Some experts voiced their disagreement with the application of the amnesty on a journalist accused of slander and assault. So, some changes and supplements will be applied to the document.
This bill on Amnesty is the 8th act which has been issued since 1995. The last amnesty act was signed in May 2003 in corresponding to the 48th year of victory over fascism.
Amnesty acts have been in force in Azerbaijan since 1995. The new draft law on Amnesty was put forward for discussion owing to the 84th anniversary of ex-President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev.
In the past this act has affected 14,000 people; 3,400 inmates were released from prison, 2,200 had their sentences slashed and 5,400 cleared of their punishments.
Seven amnesty acts have been made over the reported period and 32 pardons have been issued. These acts related to 78,000 people. In 40 amnesty acts signed so far, 4,378 people have released.