Russia amnesty bill that could free Pussy Riot members passes first hurdle - InfoNews

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Russia amnesty bill that could free Pussy Riot members passes first hurdle

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, walks to meet his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych during their meeting in Moscow on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Alexander Nemenov, pool)
December 17, 2013 - 1:09 AM

MOSCOW - The Russian parliament has given preliminary approval to an amnesty that could pardon jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot.

In the first of three votes, Parliament voted unanimously on Tuesday in favour of the bill, which gives amnesty to minors, invalids, veterans, pregnant women, and women with children. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, the Pussy Riot members serving two years in prison on charges of hooliganism for an irreverent 2012 anti-government protest at Moscow's main cathedral, both have young children.

A group of MPs is planning to offer amendments to extend the amnesty to people awaiting trial, including Greenpeace group which staged a protest at an Arctic oil platform.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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