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Russia Drops Case Against Greenpeace Activist

  • VOA News

Blocks of ice with pictures of 30 people arrested in Russia for protesting Arctic oil drilling dispayed outside Gazprom offices, Berlin, Nov. 14, 2013.

Blocks of ice with pictures of 30 people arrested in Russia for protesting Arctic oil drilling dispayed outside Gazprom offices, Berlin, Nov. 14, 2013.

Russia has dropped its case against at least one of the Greenpeace activists detained in connection with a September protest in the Arctic.

More than 30 people were involved in that protest, and Greenpeace says it hopes all will be free to leave Russia by the end of the week.

The Russian government has released a number of high-profile prisoners in the past week — including oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the last jailed members of the band Pussy Riot. The releases come just two months before the Sochi Olympic Games.

Greenpeace says crew members of its ship "Arctic Sunrise" had been peacefully protesting at a Russian oil rig when they were arrested. The protest was aimed at drawing attention to the environmental threat of oil drilling.

The 28 Greenpeace activists and two freelance journalists were initially charged with piracy. The charges were later downgraded to hooliganism, which carries a potential 7-year prison sentence.
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