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Russia grants Greenpeace activist amnesty

IRINA TITOVA, Associated Press
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From left: Greenpeace International activists Camila Speziale of Argentina, Phiip Ball of the United Kingdom and Sini Saarela of Finland pose during their meeting with residents of St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

From left: Greenpeace International activists Camila Speziale of Argentina, Phiip Ball of the United Kingdom and Sini Saarela of Finland pose during their meeting with residents of St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — One of the Greenpeace activists detained in Russia’s Arctic has been granted amnesty, the environmental group said Tuesday.

The move is the latest publicity-grabbing headline to come just two months before the Sochi Games. First, Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky was released after a decade in prison, and then the last two Pussy Riot activists were pardoned and freed.

Greenpeace International spokesman Aaron Gray-Block said he hoped the environmental activists could be free for Christmas.

“They will be free to leave Russia once they get the right stamps in their passports from the migration service,” he said.

The 30 crew members aboard a Greenpeace ship were detained at a Russian oil rig in September and were held for two months before they were released last month.

But the 26 non-Russian crew members have not been allowed to leave Russia because of the pending case. An amnesty law passed last week is expected to clear them of the charges.

Several more of the Greenpeace activists are expected to receive similar amnesty notifications.

The crew members were originally accused of piracy, a charge that was later changed to hooliganism.

It was unclear when the activist — who was not named — would be free to leave Russia.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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