Russia may free 45,000 prisoners of second world war

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 25, 2010 20:10 hrs

/RIA Novosti) Russia could release 45,000 people imprisoned in the country since the second world war and grant amnesty to 300,000 convicts to mark the 65th anniversary of its Victory Day May 9, Russian Association of Lawyers said.

The amnesty, to be declared by the Russian parliament, would come into effect May 9, when the country celebrates the 65th anniversary of its victory over Nazi Germany in the World War II, said Pavel Krasheninnikov, co-chair of the Russian Association of Lawyers.

'We propose announcing an amnesty on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War. The amnesty could cover 300,000 people, and up to 45,000 people could be freed,' Krasheninnikov said Thursday.

War veterans, the disabled and those convicted of minor crimes could be eligible for the Victory Day amnesty. Most of those expected to be covered were given non-custodial sentences, Krasheninnikov said.