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Mishiko’s mean charity2011-04-26 17:31
There's nothing worse than announcing a handsome gesture and then ending up with its poor mimicry. The Georgian Orthodox Church is disappointed by Mikheil Saakashvili's use of Easter amnesty. Traditionally, prisoners get pardons on Resurrection Sunday. The Patriarchate submitted a list of 1,000 prisoners that as the Church believed, were worthy of remission. So what did the president do? Pronouncing beautiful words about Easter he had pity only on every fourth person in the list.
Like the rest of the Orthodox world, Georgia is celebrating the great Easter holiday. Nothing can darken it - even illiterate journalists that write insolently about colored eggs and Easter cakes taken to the tombs of the dead on Easter Monday by Christians. But like everything in today's Georgia, this holiday has a bitter taste of duality.
On one hand, we have Easter vacations, the president's congratulations to the Orthodox and Catholic Christians, and the release of a new wine - Etalon - coinciding with the holiday. On the other hand one of Christ's commandments is not obeyed: blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. The Easter amnesty that the prisoners and the Church set hopes on disappointed those who believed in the president's mercy. The Patriarchate does not hide resentment: the list submitted to the State Amnesty Commission had 1,000 names. Only 266 of them will be amnestied.
It should also be remarked that the Patriarchate does not include those accused of murder, robbery with violence, rape, drug dealing, kidnapping for ransom and other grave crimes in its "pardon list". Otherwise the list would be twice longer: the Patriarchate received 2,000 amnesty petitions. Moreover, the Patriarchate's thousand includes only those who have served most part of the sentence and who has health problems. There are 45 women and 33 minors in the list submitted by the Church.
What was Saakashvili's reply? Was he generous and merciful, as Easter suggests? Far from it. It's difficult for people with a hare's heart to make handsome gestures.
Mishiko considered it possible to grant pardon to 266 prisoners only. And in reality only 227 people were released. Terms of 24 prisoners were reduced by half; two people were relieved from conditional sentence. Prison sentence of 13 prisoners was partially reduced. Besides, the "president's list" had only 12 women and no minors at all.