MP: 618 convicts released from unserved part of prison sentence in Azerbaijan over last six months - EXCLUSIVE
A number of measures aimed at decriminalizing crimes and liberalizing criminal law policy have been taken regarding the execution of the Azerbaijani President’s Order “On improving work in the penitentiary system, humanization of the punishment policy and expansion of alternative punishments and procedural enforcement measures not associated with isolation from society,” Ali Huseynli, MP, Chairman of the parliament’s Committee on Legal Policy and State Building told APA.
Huseynli said that nearly 300 amendments have been made to the Criminal Code, 15 crimes have been decriminalized, and the criminal responsibility for three types of crimes has been increased fivefold by the law adopted in this regard.
In addition, there was a reduction in the sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty, envisaged by sanction for 36 crimes, the committee chairman noted.
“In 52 cases, charges were dropped on conditions of reconciliation with victims, compensation for damages, and payment to the state budget (one- or two-fold of the cost of the damage caused). Upon the imposition of this law, the cases involving 6,000 people were considered in courts from December 1, 2017 to May 30, 2018,” he said.
Huseynli went on to say: “Of them, 601 people were exempt from criminal liability, 618 from custodial sentences, and 885 from non-custodial sentences. Moreover, 1,662 had their prison sentence shortened, and 204 prisoners received less strict detention conditions. There are up to 700 cases currently being considered in courts. It is likely that the imposition of this law will result in additional hundreds of prisoners enjoying exemption from criminal responsibility or penalty, and less strict prison conditions for hundreds more.”
The committee chairman noted that over the past year the number of prisoners in Azerbaijan dropped by 24 percent compared to previous years and the number of motions for extending the term of arrest fell by 33 percent.
On 24 May 2018, President Ilham Aliyev signed an order pardoning 634 people on the occasion of the centenary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, said the MP.
“Of them, 607 convicts were released from the unserved part of their prison sentence, which reflects the president’s humanism,” he added.
Huseynli stressed that the application of the law on humanization of punishments is a process at the amnesty level.
"When passing laws on amnesty the figures were also similar to this. Thus, it is possible to say unequivocally that according to last year’s presidential order, the situation with implementing the law is approximately equivalent to the implementation of the law on amnesty,” he said.
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