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Chechnya's president proposed Wednesday offering an amnesty to members of illegal armed groups in the republic until January 1, 2007
Russia's security chief first floated in the idea of an amnesty last week just days after the country's most wanted terrorist, Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, was killed in an explosion. And Alu Alkhanov asked militants to stop their senseless resistance to legitimate authorities and return to peaceful life. "The recent developments have eliminated all doubts about the future of separatism and terrorism in the Chechen Republic and in North Caucasus in general," Alkhanov said. "You have been offered another opportunity to return to peaceful life and benefit the republic and its people." Alkhanov said he guaranteed that everyone who asked for pardon would see their rights respected and a fair decision would be passed after a thorough investigation of their activities. He said that those militants who laid down their arms would not be arrested during investigation but rather bound over not to leave their places of residence. Federal Security Service chief Nikolai Patrushev said Tuesday that the government was drafting an amnesty bill for militants in Chechnya and other North Caucasus republics and reiterated his call for members of illegal armed groups to surrender by August 1, 2006. Similar actions in the past have not been extended to cover those found guilty of committing murder or similar crimes.
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