MINSK, 6 September (BelTA) – A pardon can be granted only to those who really deserve it, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting to discuss citizenship legislation and amnesty on 6 September, BelTA has learned.
“At present our country is under unprecedented pressure from the West. But even in such conditions, the Belarusian society remains consolidated and united. That is why ahead of the Day of People's Unity (marked on 17 September) there is a proposal to discuss the expediency of granting amnesty. We have always taken this symbolic step for us, for our people on the most important dates for the country. It is an important moment in life for those who are released from prison. They adapt to society in different ways, but nevertheless such practice exists,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
According to the president, there are absolutely different people among those convicted, including those who committed crimes of negligence, as well as minor crimes, including acts of protest.
“Everyone, especially those in prison, have grown wiser over the past two years. We will hear a report from the Internal Affairs Ministry who is personally responsible for those who will be amnestied. They will monitor those people after their release. If they repented, took the path of correction and completely cleared their guilt, leniency can be shown to them. I suggest discussing the group of persons to be amnestied,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko deems it necessary to consider the final version of the document at a special commission with the participation of “reasonable opposition”. “We need to invite people who may have a different point of view on the development of our society. They are not enemies. Let them express their opinion,” he said.
The president said that he voiced such a proposal “due to the concerns of many citizens of the country”. “People have not yet recovered from the year 2020. There are sometimes extremities from our supporters, too. You know, this has never added to the unity of society. Nevertheless, we cannot just ignore this issue and do not hear these people,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
“At the same time, I would like to emphasize that I will be signing this document. So keep in mind that everything I said has to be consistent. We cannot let everybody go left and right. Who should be in prison, should serve their time. But again, there are people who can be released early. A pardon is possible only for those who really deserve it. Justice must be at the core. Bandits and extremists cannot make part of this group. I am talking about those who tried to derail trains, commit acts of terrorism and kill our citizens,” the head of state said.