Amnesty May Free Pussy Riot Rockers

The Pussy Riot rockers jailed for performing an anti-Putin song in a cathedral might be pardoned by the president under a general amnesty this year.

The Kremlin human rights council has created a working group to identify inmates to be pardoned by President Vladimir Putin to mark 20 years of the Russian Constitution, Izvestia reported Thursday.

The working group will focus on pardoning pregnant women, women with young children, the disabled and the elderly, the report said, citing working group member Maria Kannabikh. People convicted of serious crimes will not be considered.

Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who both have 5-year-old children and were convicted of hooliganism, would technically qualify. Their two-year prison sentences end next year.

The number of individuals to be pardoned remains unclear.

The amnesty currently under consideration comes after the State Duma last month enacted an amnesty for financial crimes. Twenty-nine entrepreneurs have been freed so far under that amnesty, which is to result in the release of 13,000 people.

Russia will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Constitution in December.

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