President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev proposed amendments to the article 274 of the Criminal Code, APA reports.
According to the amendment, punishment for the treason- deliberate detriment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, state security and defense capability of the country by the citizen, or taking the side of the enemy, spying, passing state secrets to the foreign governments, assisting the foreign governments, organizations or their representatives in enmity against Azerbaijan Republic shall be extended to 12 to 20 years of imprisonment. Currently, the punishment for this action is 10 to 15 years of imprisonment.
The project has been recommended to the plenary session of the Milli Majlis.
“There is a process of toughening of punishments in the legal system of Azerbaijan without adequate reasons or social demand for it. The proposed project should also be considered within the frames of this process. However, the goals behind this toughening and its future administration are still open and unclear. Prior to this, reactionary changes to the law on “Non-Governmental Organizations and Public Funds” were made. Moreover, the fines in the Code of Administrative Offences were increased drastically,” lawyer Yalchin Imanov told Meydan TV.
Mr. Imanov added that while the civilized world liberalizes and simplifies the penalties, Azerbaijan is moving in the opposite direction: “As a rule, the government misuses this process in order to silence its opponents.”