Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 13

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s staff has already drafted legislation for an amnesty in Chechnya, the website reported on April 15. The presidential proposal will be formally introduced in the Duma this week, Putin’s representative to the Duma confirmed to Boris Sapozhnikov and Artem Vernidub, two of the website’s reporters.

The reporters did not succeed in learning the details of the presidential text. But they did interview a Duma deputy from Chechnya, Aslambek Aslakhanov, who has introduced an apparently broader legislative draft. Aslakhanov’s proposed amnesty would cover ethnic Chechens living outside Chechnya who have been framed by Russian police personnel–as, for example, by the planting of narcotics on their persons during arrests.

The deputy told that “thousands of appeals” had come to him from victims of such police abuses. “If they have arrested Chechens all over Russia,” he asked, “then why have an amnesty only in Chechnya?” Asked if his version of amnesty might extend to Aslan Maskhadov, he said that the separatist leader has not been formally accused of a crime and that this possibility should be considered.