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Who will be released through the amnesty?

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, November 30
Parliament has already taken the Government’s remarks into consideration concerning the risks of the mass amnesty and those incarcerated under the following articles will no longer be pardoned.

Article 139: Coercion into Sexual Intercourse or Other Action of a Sexual Character.
Article 140: Sexual Intercourse or Other Action of Sexual Character with a Minor.
Article 141: Act of Perversion
Article 143: Using the Services of a Victim of Illegal Trafficking of Human Beings.
Article 146: Malicious Criminal Prosecution of an Innocent Person,.
Article 147: Malicious Illegal Arrest or Detention.
Article 153: Encroachment upon the Right to Freedom of Speech.
Article 161: Encroachment upon the Right to Assembly and Manifestation.
Article 162: Interference into Exercising One’s Will in Elections, Referendum or Plebiscite. Article 164: Encroachment upon Right to Secret Voting, Miscounting of Votes or Incorrect Summing up of Elections Results.
Article 164.1: Bribing the Voters.
Article 164.2: Participating in Elections, Referendums or Plebiscites on the Basis of False Documents.
Article 164.3: Falsification of Elections and 6 more related articles.

According to the Draft Amnesty Law exemption from punishment will take place for the following inmates:
1. Persons who have a suspended sentence, regardless of the punishment term and severity of the crime, who are sentenced by a court prior to the adoption of the above-mentioned law on amnesty.
2. Regardless of the period of imprisonment, persons who are sentenced at the time of enforcement of this law for imprudent crimes.
3. Regardless of the period of imprisonment, persons who are sentenced at the time of enforcement of this law for committing misdemeanors, except those crimes which are under the definite articles of the Criminal Code:
Article 185: Property Damage Through Deception.
Article 186: Knowingly and Intentionally Purchase or Sale of Illegally Obtained Objects

Punishment is half diminished for those juveniles, women and persons convicted for the first time for grave and especially grave crimes.

Remaining term of sentence will be reduced by one third for those persons convicted of a serious or especially serious crime before November 6, 2012.

Under the proposed amnesty persons who are exempted from criminal responsibilities will not be exempted from additional responsibilities, such as fines, certain restrictions and etc.

According to the Chair of Parliament’s Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee Eka Beselia, those individuals with suspended sentences will also be affected.

“As part of the proposed amnesty those individuals currently serving prison terms who are amnestied will also be pardoned for any suspended sentences they have." Beselia stated.

Those who are pardoned will no longer be barred from any employment and their right to drive will be restored.

The proposed amnesty has been criticized by the opposition United National Movement (UNM). The UNM has expressed fears that a large-scaled amnesty will increase the crime rate in Georgia.

NGO the Young Lawyers’ Association has also called on the government to study each amnesty case individually in the interests of public safety.

The Georgian Dream government has responded to these criticisms by reiterating that the large-scaled amnesty is the government’s obligation to those inmates who were tortured during the previous administration. The parliamentary majority has promised that all proposals will be taken into consideration before the final amnesty bill is drafted. Presumably some amendments to the bill will be made during the next parliamentary session on December 5th.