Azerbaijani human rights defenders welcome presidential order on improvement of penitentiary service

The order recently singed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the improvement of penitentiary service, humanization of penalty policy and expansion of the application of measures of alternative penalty and procedural compulsion not linked with isolation from society is a positive step forward, Saida Gojamanli, head of the Bureau of human rights and protection of the rule of law, told APA on Tuesday.


Gojamanli noted that the execution of the order would lead to a significant drop in the occupancy level of prisons and thus public expenses in this area will also decrease.


Another thing, according to the human rights defender, is that the punishment will not be severer, which is a humane approach.


“That is to say, alternative legal penalties will be preferred instead. These include house arrest, fine, community service, and correctional services. This will have a positive impact on the general atmosphere in society,” she said.


She noted that human rights defenders welcome this move and it can’t be otherwise.


“We have long been waiting for the signing of such an order. This step has already been taken. The next stage has to do with the preparation of bills relating to the order. The problems will be solved step by step. It only takes time and the desire,” Gojamanli added.


Novella Jafaroglu, chairperson of the Society for Protection of Women Rights named after Dilara Aliyeva, also highly appreciated the presidential order.  


She called the order a new stage of legal reforms in criminal prosecution and execution of sentences.


Jafaroglu noted that a Probation Service of the Ministry of Justice will be created according to the order.  


“The main objective of the Service is arrangement of effective control over the execution of sentences which are not related to isolation from society, and increase of the efficiency of management in this area,” she said. “Latin translation of the term “probation” is test, trial and this concept is used in law theory in the sense of release of a person instead of observing certain conditions. A probation institute is an important component of criminal justice system in most Western countries, Sweden, USA, Finland, Latvia, Great Britain, Denmark, Estonia and other countries.”


Jafaroglu went on to say that the current situation will change in case that the laws and legal acts specified in the order are adopted, and law-enforcement and judicial authorities act in accordance with the order.


“As a result of fulfillment of the order, many prisoners can be freed. Prisoners with one or two-year unserved sentence will be involved in public work and the economic burden of the state will decrease”, she said.




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