Amnesty bill passed amid inmates’ protest

The bill has several preconditions for the release of convicts who have damaged others' property.Photo: parliament of Georgia press office., 11 Jan 2021 - 17:21, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian parliament passed an amnesty bill earlier today which covers about 70 criminal articles and concerns more than 10,000 individuals, including 1,500 prisoners. 

The bill was passed in its third and final reading by parliament today, with 83 votes in the 150-member parliament (only four opposition MPs are present at the sessions. Other opposition MPs are demanding repeat elections and refuse to take up their mandates). 

Eleven prisoners are on hunger strike as of today, demanding the inclusion of more articles in the law. 

The amnesty will concern about 1,500 inmates, will change the status of about 6,000 individuals on probation and the court fines issued before October 1, 2012 for about 4,000 individuals will be annulled ”, head of Parliament’s Human Rights Committee Mikheil Sarjveladze has stated. 

Serious crimes will not be pardoned. 

The ruling party announced the amnesty in mid-December 2020. Photo: Nino Alavidze/

The amnesty concerns individuals who committed crimes before December 11, 2020. 

The amnesty will cover drug crimes (not drug trafficking) and three lifetime inmates convicted for drug crimes. 

Other crimes which will be pardoned are as follows: damage to health, counterfeit, violation of labour safety rules, violation of customs’ rules, illegal shipment or sale of counterfeit items, negligent storage of firearms, violation of safety rules during mining, construction or other work, illegal fishing, illegal hunting and others. 

The opposition says that by passing the amnesty bill the ruling party ‘fulfilled the promise given to criminals before the elections to bribe them.’