Valiantsin Stefanovich: “Amnesty bill was politicized by the authorities”
The deputy head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”
told why there was no use waiting for the release of political prisoners under
the recently adopted law on amnesty and pointed that the authorities
artificially deprived the imprisoned opponents of the regime to be released on
On 9 July Lukashenka signed the Law “On amnesty of certain categories of perpetrators of criminal offenses”. Yesterday the document was registered at the National Register of Legal Acts. It will be officially published today.
The document has no differences from the draft law which was adopted by the Parliament. Unlike the previous years, this year amnesty doe not spread on those who were convicted under Article 293, “Mass riot, Article 342, “Organization and preparation of actions which grossly violate the public order or active participation in them, Article 367, “Defamation of president” and Article 369-3, “Violation of the order of organizing and holding mass events”. The amnesty doesn't concern malignant offenders of the prison regime either, whereas factually all political prisoners have been given such status.
On the eve of the adoption of the law the authorities repeatedly emphasized that there would be no politicization for a special release of political prisoners. “However, as a result an artificial politicization was conducted by the authorities,” said Valiantsin Stefanovich. “Those who committed some harder crimes, were amnestied. There is an impression that the law was composed in such a way as to prevent the release of any political prisoners by means of this legal tool. If we draw a comparison with the previous years, Articles 342 and 367 haven't ever been excluded from amnesty before”.