May 20, 2016

Special session of the National Assembly devoted to discussions over the draft resolution “On declaring an amnesty on the occasion of the 28th May – the Republic Day”

On May 20, a special session of the Parliament took place to discuss the draft resolution “On declaring an amnesty on the occasion of the 28th May – the Republic Day”, initiated by President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, MP Mehriban Aliyeva.


Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the session:


- Dear colleagues, based on our country’s most valuable traditions of humanism, I suggest to declare an amnesty on the occasion of the 28th May – the Republic Day. 

Since 2007, some 30 thousand prisoners have been liberated from different types of punishment based on amnesty acts adopted following the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s initiative. I would like to thank each of my colleagues who have supported the Foundation’s initiative and bestowed freedom upon thousands of people, in 2007, 2009 and 2013.


The Heydar Aliyev Foundation is an organization, which has gained great respect and confidence both in our country and abroad by its 12-year activity. In all its activites, the Foundation is guided by the principles of humanism, and tries to extend a helping hand to people in need of care and support. It is by no chance that people that appeal to us today are appreciating the Heydar Aliyev Foundation as the last hope, and we have always tried to justify these hopes.


The biggest hope of thousands of fellow-citizens that have been imprisoned today is to get their liberty, joint their families, and build a normal lifestyle. Pardoning them, giving them another chance means to give them a new life path relying on the principles of approaching laws with respect, where there is no place for crime. Every human being who has committed a crime should recognize his fault, and not to repeat it in future. At the same time, both the state and our society and everyone of us should help these people who have got their liberty to build a normal life.


Respected colleagues, according to the draft amnesty act, all prisoners that have been imprisoned for crimes not posing a public threat will be liberated from punishment. Moreover, women sentenced for a series of crimes, minors, disabled and elderly people, those with underage or disabled children, and people related to some other categories will be liberated from imprisonment. I would like to specially bring to your attention that the amnesty act will cover people who have participated in battles for the protection of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as relatives of those who have perished in such battles, or are missing. Moreover, the amnesty will also apply to people sentenced to reformatory, public works, and penalty punishments. In general, the amnesty will affect some 10 thousand prisoners, and it is expected that 3500 out of them will be liberated from prisons.


Dear colleagues, in every society, feelings such as mercy, humanism and care should be the primary principles to be followed. In a society, where both state entities and the civil society build their life and activity based on these principles, such a society is well developed and successful. Mercy is not just about extending a helping hand to the needy. Good deeds sometimes require taking a difficult and responsible decision. Those who have made mistake once have the right to be pardoned. Today, we have to give them a chance in order for them to gain their place in the society, and build their lives.


I’m sure this amnesty act will once more demonstrate the might of the state of Azerbaijan. I’m hopeful people who benefit from the amnesty will avail themselves of their chance to become decent citizens of the society. Thank you for your attention.