Source Pravda.Ru

Russian State Duma starts considering amnesty in Chechnya

The Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) has today started to consider the announcement of amnesty in connection with the adoption of the Constitution of the Chechen Republic.

The Russian president endorsed the draft resolution on May 15th.

"The announcement of amnesty is necessitated by a historic event in the life of Chechen citizens, the adoption of the Constitution," presidential representative in the State Duma Alexander Kotenkov stressed when presenting the draft resolution.

Kotenkov said that many people had been involved in illegal armed formations in Chechnya "by mistake, deception or when threatened by the use of force against themselves or their relatives." According to him, these people want to return to peaceful life but are "forced to hide or carry on with resistance fearing punishment." "Once announced, the amnesty will allow them to defuse the situation and stay free to participate in the reconstruction of the Chechen republic," Alexander Kotenkov said.

The amnesty is not to be granted to people who have committed grave crimes, foreigners, people without citizenship and in cases of repetition of offences, Alexander Kotenkov said.