Aleksandr Lukashenko holds meeting on amnesty matter

    "Amnesty is a real display of humanism on the part of the state to those who made mistakes," President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the government session to discuss amnesty matter.

    Partaking in the session were heads of law enforcement bodies, top officials responsible for such issues.

    The President stressed that "amnesty has always been an important event in the society. Many people and, first of all, families of those who are in prison are looking forward to this legislative act."

    The head of state pointed out that this year amnesty will be timed to Belarus' Independence Day.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that as he delivered the State of the Nation Address to the Belarusian people and the National Assembly he urged to prepare the draft decree on amnesty as soon as possible.

    This is the 12th amnesty bill since 1991. The last amnesty took place in 2010. It was timed to the 65th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.

    "Some people believe that such acts are passed too often. Others are against amnesty as they are afraid of recurrent offences," the President noted.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced that amnesty is the measure that will help people who made mistakes turn over a new leaf and adapt to the society.

    The head of state emphasized that the main objective of the meeting is to define categories of people who will be granted amnesty this year.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled that when the amnesty bill was prepared he required an objective, fair approach devoid of any private ambitions and protectionism.

    "Everything has to be honest. The criteria need to be defined for this purpose. We must act according to these criteria: someone gets pardoned, or the sentence gets commuted according to these criteria. In no way we should try to apply amnesty to people, who do not qualify, including for some political reasons," the President said.

    According to the President, there should be no politics in amnesty. "We grant amnesty in our state and for our society. It is a signal both to the society and the prison community. There should be no politics here," the head of state stressed.