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New Russian amnesty bill may free Pussy Riot

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The bill is set to free some 25,000 prisoners including two members of the group Pussy Riot and 30 members of Greenpeace. The bill initiated by Vladimir Putin passed swiftly through the lower house parliament. The bill passed on Wednesday did not state when the prisoners would be released, nor did it state the names of the prisoners to be released.

According to USA Today the State Duma voted 446-0 to pass the bill. Greenpeace said it hopes the amnesty bill will allow the Artic protestors to get exit visas and leave Russia. "The Arctic 30 now hope they can spend Christmas at home," said Greenpeace spokesman Aaron Gray-Block. "But it is too early to say."

Nedezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, two member of the group Pussy Riot, jailed for the past two years for hooliganism are also expected to be released as part of the amnesty bill. The amnesty will go into effect as soon as it is published in the government newspaper.

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