The police watch tower in Baku. Photo: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

06 April 2020, 23:46

In Azerbaijan, elderly prisoners pardoned because of coronavirus threat

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev signed a decree on the early relief of 176 prisoners over 65 years old in connection with the spread of COVID-19.

In Azerbaijan, seven persons infected with coronavirus have already died.

On March 24, Azerbaijan imposed a quarantine regime. People over 65 years old are not allowed to go outside until April 20, while other people can leave their homes in special cases.

According to the President Ilham Aliev's decree, the health status of prisoners and their behaviour was taken into account while pardoning them. One of the pardoned prisoners is a citizen of Russia, while the others are citizens of Azerbaijan.

The number of the pardoned prisoners includes Akif Chovdarov, the former head of the Chief Directorate of Security in Energy and Transport of the Azerbaijani Ministry of National Security, who was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment, the "Interfax" reports. According to investigators, Akif Chovdarov conducted illegal surveillance of entrepreneurs' activities.

Earlier, human rights defenders have repeatedly called on the authorities to amnesty political prisoners. The list of political prisoners released by the Union "For Freedom of Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan" includes 140 people.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 6, 2020 at 05:26 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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