MHP submits amnesty draft bill to parliament

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The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) submitted Sept. 24 a draft bill seeking amnesty for some prisoners to the parliament speaker’s office, with party officials saying a total of 162,989 prisoners would “benefit” from the amnesty.

The bill encapsulates crimes committed before May 19, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

“The number of people who will benefit from the bill is 162,989,” MHP deputy chair Feti Yıldız had said, Demirören News Agency reported over the weekend.

Crimes committed before May 19 will be subject to one-off five-year conditional reduced sentences, he added. “Crimes committed against the state, terrorism, sexual abuse, and murder will be excluded from the bill,” he said.

“The physical conditions in prisons are pretty insufficient. Occupancy rates are causing violation of human rights for people there. The capacity of 449 prisons is 211,274,” he said.

“But, as of yesterday [Sept. 21], a total of 253,535 people were recorded to be imprisoned. The health of people in prisons deteriorates and it becomes harder to live with dignity and self-respect,” Yıldız said in their reason behind presenting the bill.

The MHP has long called for granting pardons for some prisoners, mounting its calls and vowing to bring it to the country’s agenda during election campaigns ahead of the June polls, which it entered in alliance with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). But the AKP at the time had said it did not have the issue on its agenda.

On Sept. 23, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said their principle was to grant amnesty only to convicts who committed crimes against the state, saying crimes against individuals cannot be subject to amnesty. He said they will discuss the bill if submitted to parliament by the MHP.

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