Raman Yakauleuski: Shunevich's statements about amnesty made on purpose
14:56, — Politics
A political observer doesn't rule out the possibility of releasing political prisoners by the example of Khodorkovsky.
Raman Yakauleuski spoke to charter97.org about the release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
“On the analogy with Khodorkovsky, some Belarusian political prisoners can be included in the amnesty. But Lukashenka likes to talk we don't have the aim to copy the neighbouring state. It also concerns the amnesty, which was mentioned by Shunevich. There are hopes it can be applied to some political prisoners, though the authorities deny we have any. We know about the amnesty only from Shunevich's words, but it's unknown when it will be held, if it happens at all. In Russia, 100,000 prisoners were included in the amnesty, but only 20,000 were released. I don't think the statements about the amnesty were made without purpose. Something will definitely happen next year. But we don't know who will be freed,” the observer said.
Raman Yakauleuski turned attention to the fact that the release of Khodorkovsky shows a pardon application doesn't mean admission of guilt.
“This is the most important thing. Makei said in recent statements, also ones he made in Vilnius, the political prisoners would have been released long ago if they had applied for clemency. But no one can guarantee it. It is the right of the head of the 'superpresidential' republic, like in Russia. We cannot say if Statkevich, Autukhovich and others will apply for a pardon. I'd like to repeat the release of Khodorkovsjy shows applying for a pardon doesn't always mean admission of guilt. I think it is a possible solution of the problem that impedes the process of normalisation of relations with the West and the EU in particular,” the political observer thinks.
Vladimir Putin signed a decree pardoning Mikhail Khodorkovsky on December 20. The former Yukos chief left prison camp No. 7 in Segezha (the Karelia region) at 12:20 (Moscow time). He flew to Germany after the release.