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President Ilham Aliyev’s decree to pardon group of convicts to strengthen state-people relations

President Ilham Aliyev’s decree to pardon group of convicts to strengthen state-people relations

Politics
08 April 2020, 18:03 283
The pardon decree is another indicator of the humanitarian policy of the Azerbaijani president
As a successor of National Leader Heydar Aliyev’s political course, as well as of humanist traditions, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a Decree pardoning 176 prisoners aged over 65 on April 6. The Decree says the decision on pardon was made after considering appeals of convicts over the age of 65 who are in need of special care due to their age and health in connection with the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the world, as well as their family members to the head of state, taking into account the health state of convicts, their behavior during the conviction, and being guided by the principles of humanism. Under the Decree, 176 convicts aged over 65 are released from the unserved part of their prison sentence. Of them, 165 are men and 11 are women. Among those pardoned are former head of the Main Directorate for Security in Energy and Transport of the abolished Ministry of National Security (MNS), Major General Akif Chovdarov, former head of the ministry's Main Department for Combating Transnational Economic Crimes, Major General Subahir Gurbanov, and Faramaz Abbasov, a functionary of the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan. 
Execution of the pardon decree began in the morning of April 7. The decree was implemented in penitentiaries under the Penitentiary Service with the participation of the Ombudsman's Office, government agencies, the Public Committee under the Minister of Justice, human rights organizations, as well as the media. Officials of the Ministry of Justice and the Penitentiary Service visited the penitentiaries where the prisoners were detained and ensured the timely and high-level execution of the decree. Those pardoned by the President were released from penitentiaries under the Penitentiary Service. The leadership of the Penitentiary Service provided documents on the release of pardoned persons in penitentiaries, including the elderly, women and other prisoners. The released people thanked President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva for their humanism, compassion and pardon. 
In general, 66 pardon decrees were signed and 11 amnesty acts were adopted in Azerbaijan during its independence. According to the legislation signed by the President, 4,871 people have been pardoned so far. The amnesty acts adopted on the initiative of President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva covered 40,412 people, of whom 8,580 were released from prison.
The next pardon act is an indicator of the humanitarian policy of the President of Azerbaijan, a manifestation of his commitment to the tradition of giving joy to families. This pardon decree of President Ilham Aliyev has made hundreds and thousands of people happy and reduced their worries. 
In his statement to Kaspi, Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Defense, Security and Combating Corruption, Hikmet Babaoglu, said the pardon of 176 prisoners by the order of President Ilham Aliyev is an example of great humanism and gives joy and hope to many Azerbaijani families in these difficult times. "The decision of the President to pardon at a critical moment is a manifestation of special care and attention to the released citizens. At the same time, the pardon of prisoners is a continuation of the legal and humanist traditions created by the great leader Heydar Aliyev and is highly valued by our people. It is no coincidence that more than 40,000 of our citizens have been pardoned as a result of amnesty acts adopted so far. This is not just a statistic, but the joy of that number of families. The values ​​cited in the signing of the pardon decree are the high moral values ​​that our people have formed over the centuries and are the basis of national unity and solidarity in our society today. This in itself is a special event. At present, the coronavirus has spread in our country, as well as all over the world, and as a result, the health of our citizens belonging to a certain age group is under serious threat. Our medical staff characterizes this group as a special risk group, saying that they need special care and protection,” the MP noted.
He said that the head of state’s decision to pardon a group of convicts is a manifestation of special care and attention to our citizens. "But the more important and humane this step is, the more it must be sensitively assessed by our pardoned citizens as it is inadmissible to abuse this amnesty, to turn to criminal acts again, and can cause serious public condemnation. Therefore, both the pardoned prisoners and their relatives should evaluate this humane step from the point of view of public interests and as an important event that will contribute to our national solidarity,” Babaoglu emphasized. 
According to MP, political scientist Aydin Mirzazade, by signing the pardon decree, President Ilham Aliyev shows that he is trying to solve every citizen's problems. He said that this time the pardon order is distinguished by its specificity. "The release of 176 people by the order of President Ilham Aliyev can be considered as his humanism and care of everyone during the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. All those pardoned are over 65 years old. Among those pardoned are women, people in their eighties, and people who were once punished for their actions. By the decree, the head of state shows that he is the president of each citizen and is trying to solve everyone’s problems. Today, all opportunities and steps are used in the fight against coronavirus in our country. The creation of conditions for people to stay at home, the launch of an enterprise for the production of medical masks, the payments to entrepreneurs and people registered as unemployed, and other measures show that the Azerbaijani state stands by its citizens at a difficult time. President Ilham Aliyev's pardon and release of people of a certain age is an indication of the joy of many families in these difficult times. It is quite possible that this is not the last step. Some of the prisoners, who had previously served only a small part of their sentences, were released early by a local court. All this is by special order of the head of state. The humane steps taken by the President to solve the problems of citizens are welcomed by the society,” he said.
Member of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy and State Building, chairman of the Unity Party, Tahir Karimli, also said that President Ilham Aliyev had once again demonstrated that he continued great leader Heydar Aliyev’s tradition of humanism by signing another pardon decree. According to him, the pardon decree shows that the head of state always takes care of the citizen. "We know that people over the age of 65 are vulnerable to coronavirus infection. It is more important that they are isolated at home than in prisons. President has taken care of offenders over the age of 65 and released them from prison. The head of state responded to the appeal of the family members of the convicts, pardoned them, taking into account their behavior. This order brought joy to about 180 families. The released prisoners will also appreciate this step and will continue to respect the laws of Azerbaijan and serve the state and statehood. The pardon decree proved once again that the head of state always takes care of his citizens and continues his humanism. I think that this step of President Ilham Aliyev will further strengthen state-people relations,” noted the MP.
Rufik ISMAYILOV