I understand that the Presidential Human Rights Council has prepared a draft proposal for an amnesty, which it will put to Putin. There is considerable uncertainty as to the extent and scope of this amnesty but there are suggestions that it will cover the cases of those individuals who are being prosecuted for their involvement in the riot on and near Bolotnaya Square on 6th May 2012. I hope this is true. I am not very familiar with this case but it seems to me that most of the people who are being prosecuted were simply protesters who even if they are guilty did what they did by simply getting caught up in the emotions of the moment. Though Russian law in my experience differs little from that in other countries (such as Britain) in taking a harsh view of public disorder during protests, I see no value in making criminals of these people. An amnesty strikes me as not just humane but also as politically wise, further reducing political tensions which are already on the decline. I should stress that I am not speaking here about anyone (such as possibly Udaltsov or Targamadze) who might have been involved in planning the riot in advance. That is a far more serious case, which should be seen through.