MOSCOW, December 19 (RAPSI) – The Federal Penitentiary Service on Thursday released a statement clarifying release procedures in the wake of the recently adopted amnesty.

The amnesty, initiated in early December to mark the 20th anniversary of the nation’s constitution, will be applied to thousands of Russian prisoners – primarily retirees, people with disabilities, women with children, pregnant women, and victims of the Chernobyl disaster.

The law will open the way to pardons for jailed members of the Pussy Riot punk band and Greenpeace activists facing trial on hooliganism charges. It could also lead to the release of some activists currently facing prosecution over clashes with police at a rally in Moscow last year, ahead of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for his third term as president.

According to the statement posted on the service’s website, releases under the amnesty will be carried out by special orders issued by the penitentiary facility’s governor, verified by the Prosecutor’s Office.

Amnesty release concerning individuals under suspended sentence or probation must be issued by court order.

The release procedures are performed on the day the prosecutor approved release decree, or the court order arrives at the designated penitentiary facility.