Amnesty Act grants pardon to generals involved in former ministry scandal

Government Administration building in Baku. Source: saiko3p / Shutterstock

Every year on the occasion of the Independence Day in Azerbaijan, May 28th, President Ilham Aliyev signs an amnesty act, pardoning sentences of a group of people who are in jail.

The list of pardon orders signed on May 27 this year included four officers of the Ministry of National Security (MNS), which was abolished in 2015.

The generals have been sentenced by abuse of power and for acting as an organized group between 2014 and 2015, causing psychological and physical harm by detaining people, demanding a large sum of money in exchange for releasing them, threatening their relatives with violence, arrest, and releasing embarrassing information about them.

The scandal is known in Azerbaijan as the ‘MNS case’. Two months after the operation, President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on the establishment of the State Security Service and the Foreign Intelligence Service, effectively disbanding the MNS as a body. However, it is believed that the group was not completely dismantled and continues to act in a similar manner in the country.

This is the first time in the last 20 years that such a large number of people with grave sentences have been released in an amnesty act.

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