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Georgia: Amnesty Law

(Dec. 1, 2008) On November 21, 2008, the Parliament of the Republic of Georgia adopted the Law on Amnesty. An amnesty was proposed by the government as one of the measures to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Rose Revolution of November 2003, which brought the current administration to power. It will be the first amnesty granted in Georgia. According to the Law, persons who were prosecuted under 55 provisions of the Georgian Criminal Code will be granted amnesty. The amnesty will be extended to those who committed a crime before October 15, 2008. The number of Criminal Code provisions subject to amnesty originally proposed by the government was almost doubled during the parliamentary deliberations. As a result, about 2,000 people will be released from prisons; the terms of 3,000 other prisoners will be substantially shortened; and about 7,000 people who were sentenced to a probation period will be paroled. In total, the Amnesty Law will affect 12,000 out of the 27,800 prisoners who are currently incarcerated in Georgian prisons. The Law does not apply to political prisoners, who will not be eligible for amnesty. (Georgian Parliament Adopts Amnesty Law, Report on Legislative Developments, Parliament of Georgia official website, (last visited Nov. 25, 2008).)