Putin May Free Jailed Pussy Riot Members
Planned amnesty also affects Greenpeace activists
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2013 2:36 PM CST
Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot is escorted to a courtroom in Moscow in 2012.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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(Newser) – It looks like the two members of Pussy Riot who remain locked up in jail in Russia will be free this month. President Putin plans to release thousands of prisoners under an amnesty to mark the anniversary of the nation's post-Communist constitution of 1993, reports Reuters. Serious criminals won't be affected, but those jailed under charges such as "hooliganism"—as is the case with Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina —are eligible for a free pass.

That's also good news for the 30 Greenpeace activists arrested after a protest at a Russian oil platform in September, reports RT.com. All the activists are out on bail and awaiting trial, and they appear to be eligible for the amnesty, too. Still, none of the releases are sure things, notes Ria Novosti. It quotes a Russian lawmaker as saying that cases will be considered individually. “People might not agree to be amnestied, if, for example, they don’t consider themselves guilty,” he says.
 

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