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Dagestan's Acting President to Consider Amnesty for Militants

Acting President of the Republic of Dagestan Ramazan Abdulatipov said he was ready to consider an amnesty for former militants who wanted to return to a peaceful life, a news report said Tuesday.

His announcement came in response to an open letter published last week by journalist Marina Akhmedova calling on him to declare an amnesty.

Abdulatipov said he understood the idea and had asked for serious propositions to be prepared. "We should learn to forgive each other," he said Monday night on journalist Vladimir Pozner's talk show on Channel One.

The amnesty could affect people convicted of crimes committed during counter-terrorist operations, who voluntarily ended their participation in illegal armed groups and laid down their weapons, RIA Novosti reported.

Local lawmakers also propose to extend the amnesty to military personnel, law enforcement officials and investigators who were convicted for crimes committed during counter-terrorist operations.

Abdulatipov has been serving as acting head of the North Caucasus republic since January of this year after President Vladimir Putin sacked the previous head of the republic, Magomedsalam Magomedov, before the end of his term.

On Jan. 30 the acting president of Dagestan dismissed the government, and in early April Putin signed a law allowing the republic — notorious for corruption and poor public safety — to forgo direct elections for role of president.

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