President Vladimir Putin has submitted an amnesty proposal to the federal parliament that could free up to 60,000 prisoners, the Kremlin said Thursday.
The amnesty would be granted in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Kremlin said in a statement on its website.
Up to 60,000 people currently serving prison terms, and up to 200,000 people who have been convicted but who are not in prison due to probation, commuted sentences or other factors could be effected by the resolution, the Kremlin's statement said.
The Civic Chamber, a consultative board that monitors the work of legislators, said in a statement the previous day that there are about 670,000 convicts currently serving prison sentences in Russia.
The proposed amnesty could apparently affect up to about one-tenth of those prisoners.
The amnesty would not concern prisoners convicted of severe crimes, including those involving "murder, violent crimes, terrorism, extremism, kidnapping, fraud, bribe taking, crimes against children and drug-related crimes," the Kremlin said.
Russia is 10th in the world in terms of the quantity of prisoners, and the country's penitentiary system needs to be "unloaded," Andrei Babushkin, a member of the Kremlin's human rights council, was cited as saying in the Civic Chamber's statement.
Russia has amnestied about 537,000 convicts in total on anniversaries of the end of World War II — in 1995, 2000 and 2005 — state news agency TASS reported Thursday.
In 2013, tens of thousands of people incarcerated in Russia, including members of famed female protest group Pussy Riot, were amnestied in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the country's Constitution.