01 November 2018, 23:49
Armenian amnesty draft triggers prisoners' protests
Dozens of prisoners in two correctional facilities of Armenia have gone on endless hunger strike, demanding to reconsider the draft amnesty law. Despite the protests, the parliament passed the draft as it was brought in.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on October 24, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) of Armenia brought the mass amnesty bill into the parliament; the bill covered the members of the "Sasna Tsrer" detachment and the Constituent Parliament. After that, 11 life-long convicts asked the Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, to pardon them and declared an endless hunger strike. Today, the parliament adopted the amnesty bill, despite the position of some MPs on the issue of the release of members of the "Sasna Tsrer" detachment.
The hunger-striking inmates of the Armavir penitentiary institution have stated that an "unprecedented amnesty" has failed to touch on the fact of those convicted of thefts, even if the amount of theft was insignificant, or the convict had repaid the damage.
The authorities of Armenia have stated that the draft amendments to the Criminal-Correctional Code will facilitate the conditions of serving the sentence for those convicts, whose release is not expected.
According to the amendments, inmates will have the right to serve their prison terms closer to their homes, so that it is easier for their relatives to visit them. Prisoners, including those convicted of grave crimes, will be provided for with three-day meetings with their relatives in rooms with all conveniences; and if there are grounds, all the convicts will have the right to short-term departures.