Kazakh Mazhilis Endorses Amnesty Bill for Some Participants in January Unrest

ASTANA – The Mazhilis, the lower house of the Kazakh Parliament, endorsed a bill providing amnesty to some participants in the January unrest at an Oct. 19 session, reported the Mazhilis press service.

Member of the Committee on Legislation and Judicial and Legal Reform Gulnara Bizhanova presenting the bill on anmesty at the Mazhilis session. Photo credit: Mazhilis press service.

According to member of the Mazhilis committee on legislation, judicial and legal reform Gulnara Bizhanova, who presented the bill, the amnesty will apply only to crimes committed from Jan. 4 to Jan. 7 as part of the mass riots.

“The bill provides for exemption from punishment for misdemeanors and infractions. The criminal record of those who have served sentences for such crimes will be cleared. Those who have committed felonies will have their sentences reduced. Lower-level felonies will have their sentences reduced by three-fourths, while higher-level felonies will have their sentences reduced by half,” Bizhanova said.

She noted that if the convict has less than a year left to serve when the law enters into force, this sentence will be reduced altogether. At the same time, those who committed terrorist acts, masterminds of the riots, and persons who committed torture can not be amnestied.

Deputy Prosecutor General Asset Chindaliyev explained that of 49 detained law enforcement officers, only one would be granted amnesty. The rest will be held accountable for torture and abuse of power.

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