MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday vowed to examine a list of 70 “political” prisoners that was handed to him by an opposition party leader.
“I will certainly look at it, and very attentively,” Putin said at a meeting in the Kremlin with opposition parties that currently do not have representation in parliament.
Vladimir Ryzhkov, leader of the People’s Freedom Party, commonly known by its acronym Parnas, gave Putin the list, which notably includes former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The Kremlin’s Human Rights Council in mid-October submitted to Putin suggestions for a mass amnesty to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Russia’s Constitution in December. The proposals were drafted by the council’s commissions for reforming the penitentiary and judicial systems.
Putin said Wednesday that the idea to grant the amnesty was good but should be considered cautiously.
“We need to be very careful about these amnesties,” the president said. “I think this is needed, but we cannot create a nervous atmosphere in society that tomorrow some criminals will be freed.”