By order of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, 154 convicts were pardoned. Of them, 63 were released from imprisonment, 52 – the term of the remaining prison sentence was reduced by half; however,  not a single political prisoner was on the list of pardoned.

On May 25, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an order pardoning 154 convicts. According to the document, 63 convicts are released from punishment in the form of imprisonment. For another 52 prisoners, the remaining part of the prison sentence has been reduced by half. One convicted person is released from deferred punishment; 28 people were released from punishment in the form of restriction of freedom. For three persons, the remaining part of the punishment has been reduced by half. Two  convicts were released from correctional labor, and four people- from fines. A criminal record has been removed from one person.

Among the pardoned  there are 8 foreigners, including 5 citizens of Afghanistan, two convicts from Turkiye, and  one from Russia.

The head of the Dilara Aliyeva Society for the Protection of Women's Rights, Novella Jafaroglu, commenting on the presidential decree, noted that "acts of pardon are always a positive step." Because people are leaving places of detention, returning to their families," Jafaroglu said. She expressed regret that journalists and activists sentenced to prison were not included in the lists of pardons. "No one from our list has been pardoned either. This is very upsetting," the human rights activist said.

She considers it necessary to change the composition of the pardon commission, which is preparing proposals for pardon. Rufat Safarov, Executive Director of the human rights organization Line of Defense, also pointed out the absence of political prisoners from the list of pardoned.

“Of course, I did not expect that about 300 people recognized by local and international organizations as political prisoners would be released. However, there were certain hopes that the authorities might make some softening after prolonged criticism of international human rights organizations, world centers of power, appeals from the United States and the EU, and decisions of the Council of Europe. Unfortunately, this did not happen," Safarov said.

He drew attention to the fact that in the past, the authorities each time included at least several political prisoners among those pardoned. "This is the only pardon in the last 30 years when not a single political prisoner has been released. This is the message of the authorities that they are tightening their internal policies and consider human rights their internal business, in which they do not intend to tolerate international interference," the human rights defender said.

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