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Russian amnesty may affect up to 25,000

December 10, 2013, 12:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted the amnesty bill to mark the 20th anniversary of Russian Constitution to the State Duma
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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, December 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Presidential Commissioner of Human Rights Vladimir Lukin believes that the presidential variant of amnesty to mark the 20th anniversary of Russian Constitution will concern 20,000-25,000 people.

“My general idea is that 20,000-25,000 people may be released from prisons or their living conditions in confinement will become much easier that is the definite advantage. And I welcome this,” the ombudsman told Itar-Tass.

“As for different concrete aspects I would be cautious to speak about them. This is just a project, it is submitted in the State Duma lower house of parliament and it will be debated. And I hope that the final text of the amnesty act will be slightly different, as the deputies should discuss and introduce amendments. So, I will retain concrete ideas until the project turns in a resolution,” he added.

Lukin refused to specify which amendments in particular would have to be introduced in the amnesty bill. “I have passed my remarks to those people in the presidential staff who work on this issue, but as this is an official matter, I would not specify who proposed something and what was proposed. Let’s leave it to the historians to consider it and wait and see which a final project will be and then I will comment on this,” ombudsman said in conclusion.

Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted the amnesty bill to mark the 20th anniversary of Russian Constitution. The most socially vulnerable categories of convicts, suspects and those accused of different crimes, as well as people who have some merits to Russia come under the effect of the amnesty campaign.

“People who committed the crimes when they were adolescent, the women who have underage children, pregnant women, women aged over 55 years and men aged over 60 years, heavily disabled people, people, who participated in the cleanup of the aftermath of the nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, servicemen, policemen, employees of the penitentiary system and other people, who participated in combat actions or operations to protect the Fatherland belong to the above-mentioned categories of people,” the Kremlin press service noted.

The amnesty can spread only on people, who were sentenced to up to five years in prison inclusively and who did not have previous convictions. The exception is made only for underage convicts, who committed a crime at the age of under 16 years or who served less than a half of their term in prison. Meanwhile, the amnesty is not expected to embrace people, who committed the crimes that posed high public danger and were committed with the use of violence or a threat to use it, as well as people, who were earlier pardoned or were released within the amnesty campaign, people who committed premeditated crimes at the penitentiaries and the convicts who violated blatantly the prison rules.

The amnesty spreads not only on those were imprisoned, but also those sentenced to the penalties not related with the deprivation of freedom and those who received suspended sentences and were released on parole and on the convicts the punishment to whom was delayed or the unserved part of sentence was replaced with a more lenient verdict.

The criminal cases will be terminated for the suspects and those accused who fall under the effect of amnesty and the criminal cases against whom and the material about the crimes they committed are being investigated or being tried in the courts.

Alongside, the amnesty project regulates the procedure of release from custody or the serving of the punishment by people who are under the effect of the amnesty as well as the procedure to terminate the criminal cases against these people.

The amnesty campaign is expected to last six months from the day the State Duma resolution declaring the amnesty comes into force.

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