Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, the head of Civil Society Committee of the Public Council, told the Haykakan Zhamanak Newspaper that since the first month the Public Council was formed they have received proposals of amnesty and pardon from both convicts’ relatives and NGOs.
“However, recently the intensity of the flow and petitions has become a little more noticeable in relation to the July accidents. There have been proposals from the relatives, supporters of people related to these for our organization to initiate an amnesty. However, you know that this is the prerogative of the head of state, and the National Assembly declares amnesty, we have the right to advisory vote and we may go to the head of state or any other political instance with such a request or proposal,” the chair of the Civil Society Committee said.
According to him, the Committee members expressed a positive attitude to the amnesty proposal during the closed meeting but there were disagreements over which articles it should apply to. “This is the reason why the Public Council has not come up with a document but since the discussion has taken place, we asked Mr. Manukyan to relay the results of the discussion to the political leadership,” Hovhannes Hovhannisyan said.
In answer to the Haykakan Zhamanak’s reporter’s question whether it is possible to submit a proposal on amnesty for the persons detained for helping Sasna Ts’rer, he said: “Because we do not decide the group of articles, we can propose certain social groups, types of crimes. I can express my opinion because the discussion was not open. The issue of announcing an amnesty has matured in political, economic, moral and legal terms. Of course, we have taken into account that there are a lot of detained people whose prosecution had better be stopped through an amnesty than complicated by drawing a wedge in the society.”
The Haykakan Zhamanak has also learned that during the discussion at the Public Council there has been a proposal to amnesty the members of the Sasna Ts’rer group who are veterans of the war in Artsakh.