Russia Tossing Charges Against Greenpeace Activists

They could be home for New Year: rep
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2013 7:09 AM CST
Russia Tossing Charges Against Greenpeace Activists
Greenpeace International activists Camila Speziale of Argentina, Philip Ball of the UK, and Sini Saarela of Finland pose during a meeting with residents of St.Petersburg, Dec. 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Yesterday, Pussy Riot members left prison under Russia's new amnesty measure; today, the country's charges against at least some Greenpeace activists are being dropped. RT reports that at least three of 30 crew members from the organization's Arctic Sunrise ship have seen charges dropped; the same will likely occur for the rest of the "Arctic 30" by week's end, per Greenpeace. The activists had been charged with piracy following an oil-platform protest, but those charges were reduced to hooliganism, which could have resulted in seven years' imprisonment, RT notes.

"Today it will be one or two activists, the rest will follow tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow," a lawyer for the protesters tells Interfax. They'll be able to leave Russia following procurement of the appropriate visas, the BBC reports. "There is a good chance that they will be home in time for the New Year," adds a Greenpeace rep. (Read more Greenpeace stories.)

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