The State Duma gave the final third reading to the bill on amnesty timed for the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution.
As a result of amendments, amnesty was extended not only to those convicted under Parts 2 and 3 of Article 212 of the Criminal Code ("Mass Riots"), but also on those, who were suspected of such activities. In addition, deputies approved the release of convicted persons, suspects and defendants under Article 213 ("Hooliganism").
Thus, amnesty applies not only to members of the infamous punk band Pussy Riot, but also to most defendants of Bolotnaya Square riots. Those convicted or accused under the first part of the article - organization of riots - will not be pardoned. Criminal prosecution against Arctic Sunrise environmentalists is likely to be terminated as well. Amnesty is to be applied to least socially protected convicts and individuals who deserve well of their country.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.