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Belarusian MPs pass second reading of amnesty bill

MINSK (BelTA) - Belarusian MPs have passed the second reading of the bill “Amnesty in connection with the 70th anniversary of liberation of Belarus from Nazi invaders,” BelTA has learned.

The bill was introduced by the President of Belarus. It was prepared on his initiative.

The bill aims to implement the principle of humanism in respect of the persons serving various types of criminal sentences, the deputy chairman of the permanent commission for national security of the House of Representatives, Viktor Rusak, said when presenting the bill to the parliament. The document passed the first reading on 14 May 2004. According to Viktor Rusak, by the second reading the bill was finalized. The amendments were mainly technical in nature.

The document will apply to such categories of citizens as minors; pregnant women; women and single men who have children under 18; and men over 60 and women over 55; Group I or II disabled persons; people with active TB; cancer patients (second, third, or fourth clinical group); HIV-infected; veterans of military conflicts in other states; those affected by the Chernobyl and other radiation accidents; and others.

Under the bill, the amnesty will not apply to repeated offenders sentenced to imprisonment for deliberate crimes.

The amnesty bill enumerates different options to reduce the sentence.

The law will take effect on the day of its official publication. Prior to this, the document must be considered and adopted by the two chambers of the parliament and signed by the President.

Belarus' prison population is about 30,000.