No amnesty for political prisoners, says Russian PM
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has hinted that members of punk band Pussy Riot, former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and others widely referred to as political prisoners will not be freed in the upcoming amnesty.
The bill granting long-awaited amnesty for thousands of Russian prisoners is expected to be sent to Russian parliament in the coming days.
Rights organizations describe dozens of Russians including Pussy Riot, Khodorkovsky and 28 people charged with violent rioting at last year’s opposition protest on Bolotnaya Square as political prisoners.
Mr. Medvedev said in a television interview on Friday that Russians “are not inclined” to grant amnesty to those who committed violent crimes and “crimes against society including hooliganism,” an obvious reference to Bolotnaya protesters and Pussy Riot.
Mr. Medvedev insisted Russia has no political prisoners.