Pussy Riot and Arctic 30 hope for Russian amnesty

by Rachel Baker on December 10, 2013

Putin is planning amnesty that could release the two members of Pussy Riot and the 30 Greenpeace protesters who were jailed in Russia.

Two members of punk protest band Pussy Riot could be freed from prison and 30 people arrested in a Greenpeace protest could avoid jail under an amnesty proposed by Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, lawyers said on Tuesday.

Putin plans the amnesty this month to mark the anniversary of the adoption of Russia’s post-Communist constitution in 1993.

According to a draft text on the lower house of parliament’s website, people convicted of hooliganism will be released under the amnesty. This is the charge on which Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are serving two-year jail terms for a protest against Putin in a cathedral.

“I very much hope so,” Irina Khrunova, a lawyer for Tolokonnikova, said when asked whether she believed her client – due for release in March – would be free by 1 January. “If the prison authorities drag this out, we will take measures.”

Tolokonnikova, 24, and Alyokhina, 25, also appear to be eligible for release as mothers of young children. Khrunova said both women would qualify if parliament, which is dominated by a party loyal to Putin, approves the draft amnesty.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/10/pussy-riot-greenpeace-arctic-30-hope-russian-amnesty-putin

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