The Russian authorities must release immediately and unconditionally all prisoners of conscience (POCs), Amnesty International said today as the Russian parliament passed an amnesty bill that may see the imprisoned Pussy Riot singers and some detainees in the Bolotnaya case freed. The foreign activists amongst Greenpeace’s “Arctic 30”may also be allowed to leave Russia.
“It is difficult to welcome the Amnesty law adopted by the Russian Duma today. While it will no doubt benefit many victims of injustice, it will not erase the criminal records of those wrongfully convicted. Also it will not extend to all those Amnesty International considers prisoners of conscience, including many currently standing trial in connection with the 2012 Bolotnaya Square protest,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Director.
“This Amnesty Law is no substitute for an effective, independent justice system. Indeed, it is further proof of the politicization of justice in Russia.”