MOSCOW, October 11 (RIA Novosti) – As Russia marks the 20th anniversary of its constitution by granting amnesty to a number of non-violent criminals, the two jailed Pussy Riot members as well as protesters detained on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square may be included in the pardons, a Kremlin-connected human rights campaigner said Friday.
The Kremlin’s Human Rights Council that day approved suggestions for the planned mass amnesty upon the request of President Vladimir Putin, who will receive a compilation for his ratification on October 15. The proposals were drafted by the council’s commissions for reforming the penitentiary and judicial systems.
Kirill Kabanov, a member of the judicial reform commission, said pardons might be granted to the jailed Pussy Riot rockers and those protestors detained for non-violent crimes during a large anti-Putin rally on downtown Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square last year.
“Since we talk about non-violent crimes, it [the amnesty] may be applied,” he said.
Two members of the female punk band Pussy Riot are serving prison terms for hooliganism due to their so-called punk prayer protest in a prominent Moscow cathedral in which they called for the Virgin Mary to banish Putin.
About 650 protesters were briefly detained during the Bolotnaya Square rally in May 2012, on the eve of Putin's inauguration for a third term as president. Authorities later pressed charges against 27 protesters.