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Pussy Riot, Greenpeace activists and Bolotnaya protesters to be freed

Dec. 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM   |   Comments

MOSCOW, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- The Pussy Riot band and Greenpeace activists will be freed from Russia prisons on the 20th anniversary of the country's Constitution, amnesty papers indicate.

A total of 25,000 people will be freed under the amnesty, initiated by President Vladimir Putin, TV-Novosti said Tuesday.

"Around 1,300 people will be released from prison, and 17,500 people will be relieved of non-custodial sentences. In addition, criminal proceedings against nearly 6,000 can be terminated," Deputy Speaker of Parliament Vladimir Vasilyev said.

The detainees to be freed include the 30 Greenpeace activists, who were detained in September after two of the activists tried to scale the side of an Arctic oil rig operated by the Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Members of the band Pussy Riot band, arrested following a performance protesting Putin inside Moscow's main Cathedral, as well as the nine May 2012 Bolotnaya protesters, are also included in the amnesty papers, the report said.

The amnesty covers three articles of the criminal code -- hooliganism, participation in riots and traffic violations that affected people's health. Those who were convicted or detained under those charges will be freed, TV-Novosti said.

Russia celebrates the 20th anniversary of the constitution on Thursday.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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