MOSCOW, January 17 (RAPSI) – Several dozen people charged with crimes that fall under the amnesty announced by President Vladimir Putin will be unable to make use of it because they have left Russia, Kommersant newspaper writes on Friday.
Those released under the amnesty, which was announced on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution, include Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, the Greenpeace activists charged with attacking the Prirazlomnaya platform, and several participants in the May 2012 protest rally in central Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square.
Head of the Agora Human Rights Association Pavel Chikov told Kommersant that several dozen people whose alleged crimes are being investigated or who have been sentenced in absentia will be unable to make use of the amnesty because they have left Russia. They fled the country to escape “legal conflicts, some of which appeared to be unresolvable,” he said, adding that most charges concern hooliganism.
The newspaper cites the case of Olga Kudrina, a member of the banned National Bolshevik Party who has fled to Ukraine.
In May 2005, Kudrina and her fellow party member Yevgeny Logovsky placed an anti-government banner on the Rossiya Hotel in Moscow. Both were found guilty of hooliganism and intentionally damaging property. Kudrina was sentenced in absentia to 3.5 years in a minimum security penal colony.
According to the Russian Supreme Court’s legal department, one of the most common sentences passed (around 1,500 per year) is under the Criminal Code article on hooliganism. Furthermore, the Interior Ministry said these statistics do not include people charged with hooliganism who are on the international wanted list.