Some Chechen Parliament deputies back referendum call for general amnesty

Several deputies to the Chechen parliament elected in January 1997 have met with Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo and presidential aide Sergei Yastrzhembskii in Moscow, Russian media reported on 19 March. A total of 32 of the 63 deputies have endorsed a statement addressed to President Putin expressing their support for the 23 March referendum, which they said will pave the way for a peaceful solution to the conflict. But at the same time, they told Putin they believe the adoption of the constitution should be accompanied by the granting of an amnesty to "all participants in the Chechen armed resistance," with the exception of those who engaged in kidnappings and terrorism, on the grounds that it will not be possible to restore peace in Chechnya without the participation of former fighters. LF


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