Armenia to introduce fines, prison sentences for violating quarantine during state of emergency
Tough measures are being introduced in Armenia for violating the state of emergency that went effect in the country on March 16 to prevent an even greater spread of coronavirus.
For the violation of the requirements of quarantine or self-isolation, individuals can be fined 300-500 times the minimum wage, and the unit of account for the minimum wage in such acts in Armenia is 1000 drams (about $2).
The punishment for the same violation will be much stricter if it leads “through negligence to mass infection of the people”.
In this case, according to the amendments to the criminal code, arrest of up to 3 months or imprisonment of up to 5 years is provided for, depending on how many people suffer.
MPs of the National Assembly in the evening of March 20 urgently gathered for an extraordinary meeting. The government insisted on an immediate discussion of two bills – on amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Offenses.
Deputy Minister of Justice Vahe Danielyan explained why such a rush is needed: a state of emergency provides for the restriction of citizens’ rights, but the law does not provide for punishment for their violation.
One more reading is scheduled for March 23.
MPs also discussed at length the restriction regarding publications in media and social networks.
After the introduction of the state of emergency, only official information about patients, their number and the situation as a whole can be published.
According to the government, this is necessary in order to avoid aggression towards patients, as well as panic among the population.
Some MPs agree with representatives of the media community that there is no exact definition of what messages cause panic.
However, there is already a measure of punishment. For violation of this emergency requirement, a fine of 30-500 times the minimum wage is provided.