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Presidential rights council urges lawmakers to amnesty Opposition activists

May 07, 2013, 14:20 UTC+3

The Council intends to ask the Russian president to politically support the idea of amnesty

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MOSCOW, May 7 (Itar-Tass) - The presidential council for developing civil society and human rights urged the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament to announce amnesty for the persons accused of involvement in mass disturbances in Moscow's Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012.

"We're asking you to support the draft resolution on amnesty for all those accused in the so-called Bolotnaya case, submitted by deputies Kashin and Lokot," the Council said in an address to the State Duma published on the Council's website.

The version alleging well-conceived and organized "mass disturbances" does not look convincing in the eyes of the part of the society which was represented in Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012, and referring the case to the court will not bring civic peace; rather, it will aggravate the confrontation between government bodies and a peaceful civil Opposition."

The amnesty, proposed by Communist lawmakers, could become a way out of deadlock as was the State Duma's resolution on political and economic amnesty, dated February 23, 1994. "If adopted with the view of national reconciliation and reaching civic peace and accord, as was the case 19 years ago, the amnesty could open the way to replacing the vector of confrontation with the vector of difficult, but absolutely necessary cooperation between part of the society and lawmakers," the authors of the address said.

The Council intends to ask the Russian president to politically support the idea of amnesty.

On April 20, Communist faction members Anatoly Lokot and Boris Kashin submitted a draft resolution on amnesty in connection with the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Russian Constitution.

Kashin said the amnesty exempts from punishment the persons involved in the riots in Moscow's Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012 . "It calls for dropping criminal prosecution of the persons who committed publicly dangerous acts near Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012, and set free those who have already been convicted in connection with those events," the lawmaker said.

The amnesty act is expected to apply to 30 persons. It was proposed to time the amnesty with the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution.

Meanwhile, head of the house committee for civil, criminal, arbitration and procedural legislation Pavel Krasheninnikov /United Russia/ was skeptical about the prospects for the proposed amnesty. "The initiative will certainly be reviewed; but it's already clear that there are more questions than answers here, both from the legal and enforcement points of view," he noted.

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