17:50 20.12.2013

Rada passes law on amnesty for Euromaidan activists

2 min read

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted a law on the inadmissibility of the prosecution and punishment of people involved in events that took place during peaceful rallies in Ukraine.

A total of 339 MPs voted to pass this document.

The text of the bill, which was submitted by MP Pavlo Petrenko, has not been published yet.

Petrenko said in the parliament before the voting that the document allowed the release of the people who participated in protests since November 21, until the day when the law took effect. This means that the law does not affect the riot police officers that beat protesters, as the opposition insisted on changing the wording "people connected with the participation in protests" to "the participants of the protest."

According to the bill, all criminal cases opened against the participants of the protest from November 21 have to be closed and people detained under them have o be released.

New criminal cases and cases on administrative violations cannot be opened against the participants of the protest and mass rallies from November 21 until the day when the law takes effect.

The document was submitted by Batkivschyna faction member Pavlo Petrenko, UDAR faction member Vitaliy Karpuntsov, Svoboda faction member Oleh Makhnytsky, Party of Regions faction member Nestor Shufrych, and president's representative in the parliament Yuriy Miroshnychenko.

Petrenko stressed that the criminal cases and court rulings against the participants of the protest have to be cancelled when the law takes effect.

He added that if the president vetoes the document, the fact that 339 MPs supported it would mean that the parliament in theory has necessary number of votes to overcome the veto.

Svoboda parliamentary faction leader Oleh Tiahnybok said that the document does not allow prosecuted the participants of the protest and exempts from liability the people who participated in the protest since November 21.

He also said that the adoption of the law means that more than 300 Euromaidan rally activists will not be prosecuted and questioned.

The head of the Batkivschyna parliamentary faction, Arseniu Yatseniuk, in turn, said that Party of Regions faction members proposed to extend the power of this law to the police, but their proposal was rejected.

UDAR faction leader Vitaliy Klitschko said that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych would sign the law.