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MOSCOW, December 09./ITAR-TASS/. President Vladimir Putin has submitted to the State Duma a draft amnesty law in connection with the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution.
Putin asked the Council for Civil Society Development and Human Rights to draft such a law in September.
At a meeting with Council Chairman Mikhail Fedotov and Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin on December 4, Putin agreed with the proposed terms of amnesty.
“Amnesty may be applied only to those persons who did not commit grave crimes or crimes connected with violent actions against representatives of the authorities, primarily law enforcement agencies,” the president said.
Putin instructed Fedotov and Lukin to “finalize the [amnesty] document together with State Duma deputies.”
“The decision should be balanced but definitely aimed at humanizing law enforcement practices,” the head of state added.
“During your meeting with the Council on September 4, we raised the matter of declaring an amnesty to mark the 20th anniversary of Russia’s Constitution. You said then that this is something we need to think about, instructed the Council to draft proposals and gave us a deadline of October 15. On October 11, we discussed the draft proposals at a Council meeting. The proposals were approved by the majority of the Council’s members and were sent to the Presidential Executive Office,” Fedorov said.
“There are various points of view and differences in opinion regarding the details. But it is important that there is an understanding that everyone who has taken part in the discussions agrees in principle with the idea that the Constitution’s 20th anniversary is a fitting occasion to sum up some results and draw a line,” he said.
Fedotov believes that the amnesty may apply to as many as 100,000 persons.
At the same time, it is too early to name concrete persons who may be set free under an amnesty proposed in connection with the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution, the Kremlin said.
“It would be premature, imprudently and wrong,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
“There is obviously the general consensus that the amnesty may apply to those who did not commit violent crimes,” Peskov said. At the same time, he said: “It would be premature to say that the amnesty will apply to such and such concrete persons.”
“It would be imprudently and wrong to say so now. The document will be finalised and clear criteria will be determined. As the president has said, they will be determined through dialogue between the presidential administration and parliament and between experts and members of civil society,” the spokesperson said.