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President initiates amnesty on Karabakh war victory anniversary

President Ilham Aliyev

President Ilham Aliyev has initiated an amnesty on the occasian of the first anniversary of Azerbaijan’s victory in last year’s 44-day war with Armenia, Azertag reported on November 3.

The president came up with the initiative taking into account the exceptional significance of November 8 – Victory Day for the Azerbaijani people and continuing the traditions of humanism.

The proposed amnesty act is expected to be the largest one in terms of the number of people and institutions that it will cover, the report added.

The act submitted to parliament by President Aliyev will apply to more than 16,000 people. Over 3,000 convicts are expected to be released from prisons, as well as the unserved part of the sentences of about 3,000 convicts will be reduced.

The Azerbaijani parliament will discuss the bill on the declaration of amnesty in connection with November 8 – Victory Day at its plenary session scheduled for November 5, the report added.

Under the amnesty act, close relatives of those who took part in the 44-day war and other military operations to protect Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as persons awarded orders and medals will be released.

Moreover, close relatives of those with disabilities or killed as a result of military provocations, as well as persons who have committed crimes that do not pose a major public threat will also be released from criminal liability.

At the same time, negligent offenders,  persons who have committed a less serious or first-time grave crime for which the unserved part of the sentence is less than six months, persons serving a sentence in a precinct-type penitentiary institution less than one year before the end of their sentence will be released from the unserved part of the sentence.

The act is expected to apply also to individuals, who were fined, sentenced to public work, correctional work, imposed restrictions over military service, detained in a disciplinary military unit, and had other non-custodial sentences.

The amnesty will remove convictions from individuals who do not pose a major public threat or who have committed less serious crimes.

On November 8, Azerbaijan will celebrate Victory Day to commemorate the liberation of Shusha and other cities and villages from Armenia’s occupation in the 44-day war in late last year.

On September 27, 2020, in response to a large-scale provocation of the Armenian armed forces along the frontline, the Azerbaijani army launched a counter-offensive operation, later called the “Iron Fist”.

The 44-day war put an end to nearly 30 years of occupation, ensured the liberation of Azerbaijan’s lands and the restoration of the country’s territorial integrity.

A Moscow-brokered ceasefire deal that Baku and Yerevan signed on November 10, 2020, brought an end to six weeks of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.

The peace agreement stipulated the return of Azerbaijan’s Armenian-occupied Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions and urged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s. Before the signing of the deal, the Azerbaijani army had liberated around 300 villages, settlements, city centers, and historic Shusha city.

By Vugar Khalilov

About Fidan Abdullayeva