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Broad Amnesty Proposals Need to Be 'Revised'

State Duma deputies are calling for changes to the proposal prison amnesty that could benefit prominent convicts like former oil tycoon Khodorkovsky. Igor Tabakov

State Duma deputies want to make changes to the broad amnesty proposal drafted by the Kremlin's human rights council for the 20th anniversary of the Constitution, and are working on revisions that would keep serious offenders in prison, a news report said Tuesday.

Council member Kirill Kabanov last week said that the amnesty, which is expected to be submitted to President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, should apply to at least 25 percent of those incarcerated.

But the deputy head of the Duma's legislation committee, Yury Napso, said it would be "wrong" to amnesty 25 percent of all inmates, Izvestia reported.

"It would be wrong to free bribe-takers and drug dealers. I don't think the President will approve that sort of proposal," Napso said.

The Amnesty project will be revised by a combination of deputies, experts and human rights activists, he said.

Particular attention has been paid to whether the amnesty on the Dec. 12 anniversary of the Constitution will apply to prominent convicts such as former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the suspects in last year's opposition protests on Bolotnaya Ploshchad, and members of Pussy Riot.

See MT's report on the amnesty proposal here.

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