MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised to give thought to a major amnesty next year timed for the presidential election.
After an official award ceremony in the Kremlin Putin met with the guests, including regional human rights ombudspersons and members of the presidential council for human rights.
Human rights ombudsman in the Kaluga Region, Yuri Zelnikov, approached the president with this proposal: "The election is due soon. Possibly it might be reasonable to give thought to a major amnesty timed for the election day. What do you think?"
Zelnikov added that it might become a good tradition.
"It’s possible to give thought to this," Putin said.
Since 1994, when Russia adopted a new constitution, there have been 19 amnesties. According to the Federal Penitentiary Service, the largest one of them was the amnesty of 2000 that was timed to the 55th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. It covered 877,000 people, of whom 206,000 were released from penitentiary establishments. The second largest amnesty took place in 2015 and was timed to the 70th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. It covered 400,000 people, with 231,000 of them released from jail. Most of those covered by the amnesty were people convicted on charges that did not carry a punishment of prison terms.