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Armenian Parliament Backs Prison Amnesty

Armenia Justice Minister Hrair Tovmasian said 1,200 to 1,300 inmates would be amnestied.
YEREVAN -- The Armenian parliament has given its support to a presidential proposal on a national prison amnesty. Last month, President Serzh Sarkisian proposed an amnesty for prison inmates to mark the 22nd anniversary of Armenia's independence, celebrated on September 21.

Justice Minister Hrair Tovmasian told journalists on October 3 that 1,200 to 1,300 inmates out of some 4,600 inmates in the country's penitentiaries and detention centers will be amnestied. Some 500 to 600 men and women will be released from the country's penitentiaries, while the prison terms of others will be shortened.

Convicts who committed crimes before September 1, 2013, are eligible, not including those serving sentences for serious offenses such as murder and rape. It is the ninth national amnesty in Armenia since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.