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Amnesty Proposed to Celebrate Russian State Duma Anniversary

Lawmakers from the Liberal Democratic Party have proposed amnestying 70,000 convicts to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Russia's legislature, independent Dozhd television reported Monday night.

The State Duma, or the lower house of parliament, in its current form is a post-Soviet creation, founded in 1993 to replace the Supreme Soviet. But the legislature takes its name from the State Duma that was first introduced to the Russian Empire in 1906.

A group of lawmakers from the Liberal Democratic Party planned to introduce their amnesty bill on Tuesday, Dozhd reported, citing one of the bill's authors, Anton Ishchenko.

The lawmakers proposed to amnesty those sentenced to five years in prison or less for crimes they committed before they turned 18, as well as pregnant women, mothers of young children, women older than 55 and men older than 60, Dozhd reported. The amnesty would be applicable only to those serving their first prison term.

The amnesty would also apply to people convicted of minor offenses, if they have paid off damages to their victims, Dozhd reported.

“We hope this draft amnesty will receive support, including from the ruling [United Russia] party,” Ishchenko was quoted as saying.

Another author of the bill, Alexander Kurdyumov, said the amnesty would apply to between 60,000 and 70,000 convicts, Dozhd reported.

Russia held an amnesty last year to accompany the grandiose celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of victory in World War II. More than 231,000 convicts were freed, according to Federal Penitentiary Service figures cited by the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Kurdyumov said his party's proposed amnesty celebrating the Duma's anniversary would be “very similar to the one that took place a year ago in connection with the 70th anniversary of victory.”

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