Ukraine's Amnesty Law Comes into Force

World | February 17, 2014, Monday // 12:22|  views

Photo by EPA/BGNES

An Amnesty Law for anti-government protesters in Ukraine has come into force from Monday.

The move has been announced by the General Prosecutor's office after the protesters' retreat from government buildings across Ukraine.

On its website, the Prosecutor's office has declared that the demonstrators have delivered on the provisions required for the law to come in force.

The new amnesty rules state that the perpetrators arrested during mass demonstrations between December 27 and February 2, 2014 are to be freed of all charges and proceedings and discharged of detainment.

All 243 people who have been put behind bars during the unrest were freed by the authorities on Friday.

The EU has welcomed the law coming into force. However, its High Representative on Foreign Affairs and Security Catherine Ashton announced that amnesty should be extended to all of the participants in Kiev's recent riots. This would facilitate the upcoming parliamentary dialogue this week, as she was quoted as saying.

This view coincides with the demands of some protesters, who disagree with the end of the occupation.

According to reports by the BBC, anti-government activists have also removed parts of the barricades on a street in the centre of Kiev. The protests, however, seem to be far from over, as a huge makeshift camp can still be seen on a central square in the capital.

Ukraine has been shaken by protests since mid-November 2013, when the government rejected an Association Agreement with the EU in favour of stronger ties with Moscow. Russian president Vladimir Putin has since promised a USD 15 B worth of loans for Ukraine.

A new set of talks on the crisis is expected this week, as MPs meet in parliament to discuss the political future of the country. Opposition deputies have announced they will try to pass legislation to return the 2004 constitution of Ukraine back into force. This could limit the President's powers and introduce early elections for head of state this year.

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Tags: Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Kiev, Amnesty Law, demonstrations, Catherine Ashton, protesters


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