Interfax: Amnesty declared not resolving issue of disproportionate charges in Russia – human rights activists

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 18 (Interfax) – The amnesty declared by the State Duma on Wednesday does not resolve one of the main issues in the Russian justice system, the Human Rights Watch international human rights organization said.

“The amnesty will allow the release of a number of citizens and this is good. This is better than nothing but the amnesty does not resolve the issue that people have been charged disproportionately,” Deputy Head of the Human Rights Watch Moscow branch Tatyana Lokshina told Interfax on Wednesday.

“The amnesty does not resolve the issues of the Russian court system and selective justice,” Lokshina said.

According to Lokshina, the amnesty will apply to the crew of Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise, members of the Pussy Riot punk band and several suspects of the Bolotnaya Square case.

“The amnesty on these cases will allow for decreasing the level of negative signals Russia is getting in the West but the amnesty does not resolve the main issues,” Lokshina said.

The common thing that Arctic Sunrise cases, the case of Pussy Riot and the Bolotnaya Square cases share is that disproportionate charges were brought against the suspects, Lokshina said.