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April 19, 2006 -- The lower house of the Russian parliament today almost unanimously passed a bill granting an amnesty to thousands of prison inmates.
The amnesty marks the 100th anniversary of the first session of a Russian parliament.
Russian media said the amnesty would affect some 15,000 prisoners and people under investigation or on trial. It will not apply to prisoners convicted of serious crimes, such as murder, robbery, or terrorism.
(compiled from agency reports)