Amnesty bill under consideration by Ukrainian parliament

The Ukrainian parliament convened for a second day of an emergency session to debate an amnesty bill that would apply to protesters arrested at "Euro Maidan" rallies.
Posted By JC Finley  |  Jan. 29, 2014 at 9:29 AM
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KIEV, Ukraine, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, met for a second day of an emergency parliamentary session to consider an amnesty bill.

During a brief recess on Wednesday, First Deputy Parliament Speaker Ihor Kaletnik said that "These negotiations are quite successful, and we hope that we will be able to vote for this bill at 1600 [4 p.m. local time]."

The amnesty bill would grant amnesty to protesters arrested during "Euro Maidan" rallies, held primarily in the capital city of Kiev.

Demonstrations began in November 2013 following President Viktor Yanukovych's announcement that Ukraine would not join the EU and have continued for months, despite the freezing temperatures and threat of violence. Protesters at "Euro Maidan" rallies, led by the government opposition parties, have voiced their opposition to Ukraine's economic ties to Russia and have demanded the removal of the president.

Parliament's amnesty bill would be another step by the government to appease government protesters. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov announced his resignation, and parliament repealed anti-protest laws that were passed on January 16.

Opposition leader and Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms party member Vitali Klitschko wrote on his party's website that President Yanukovych's resignation would be "a logical step."

[Interfax Ukraine News Agency] [CNN]

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