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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Jail Amnesty Proposed

MOSCOW -- President Boris Yeltsin proposed Wednesday that parliament approve an amnesty for 35,000 prison inmates to ease the burden on Russia's overcrowded and disease-ridden jails, his press service reported.

Yeltsin said the move was necessary "not only because of humanitarian considerations but also because of a very tense situation'' in the country's cash-strapped penitentiary system.

In a letter to Gennady Seleznyov, the speaker of parliament's lower house, Yeltsin said many inmates do not receive proper food and medical care.

The letter was written after parliament's lower house, the State Duma, asked for clarification regarding the amnesty, which was proposed by Yeltsin earlier.