TBILISI, DFWatch — The parliament in Georgia has finally passed an amnesty law which will mean that 3500 prisoners will be released.

The goal of the bill is to soften the crime policy. It aims to achieve this by releasing some prisoners and halving the sentence for others.

The new law, which was supported by 80 members of parliament, will release prisoners who were juveniles when they committed a less serious criminal offense, as long as the crime did not hurt anyone.

Also to be released are persons who have committed less serious crime and haven’t been convicted earlier for premeditated crime, except persons convicted of crime which resulted in death, deliberate damage to health, sexual crimes and crimes against human liberties and rights, engaging in juvenile anti-social actions, actions against the state, interrupting investigations, hiding crime, not reporting crime, and calls for aggressive war. The bill applies restrictions on certain articles and paragraphs for the crimes mentioned.

The law on amnesty has many opponents, mostly among the National Movement party and its supporters, who suspect that releasing thousands of prisoners will increase the level of crime in the country.

In response, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili twice stated that the crime level is expected to increase a bit, but people should get along with it, as it is ‘a humane process’.