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Speaker signs bill giving amnesty to Ukrainian protesters

January 30, 2014, 16:30 UTC+3 KIEV

Now it must be signed into law by President Viktor Yanukovich

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Vladimir Rybak

Vladimir Rybak

© ITAR-TASS/Maria Frolova

KIEV, January 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian parliament speaker Vladimir Rybak told a news conference on Thursday that he had signed a draft law providing amnesty to protesters detained during recent unrest in Ukraine.

Now it must be signed into law by President Viktor Yanukovich.

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian parliament passed a bill on amnesty to protesters detained during recent unrest, drafted by Party of Regions’ deputy Yuri Miroshnichenko. With 226 votes required to pass the draft law, 232 parliamentarians backed it.

The bill envisages a pardon for all people who took part in riots during mass anti-government demonstrations in Ukraine except for those who committed grave crimes. Under the document, protesters should vacate state institutions they seized in Kiev and other regions of the country within 15 days.

It is said in the bill that it takes effect on the day following the day of its publication, but begins to be applied on the day following the day the prosecutor general announces on the official website of the General Prosecutor’s office that participants in riots have taken a set of actions. This announcement by the prosecutor general will come only if protesters take the required steps within 15 days following the day the law takes effect.

“The passing of the law will make it possible to exempt from criminal responsibility and an administrative arrest participants in peaceful rallies, to prevent their persecution and punishment, as well as will create a legal framework for a free-will and peaceful settlement of existing internal conflicts and standoffs,” the explanatory note to the document said.

The bill was passed in parliament late on Wednesday without discussion.

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