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Russia drops charges against Greenpeace activists

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - 01:19

Dec. 25 - Under a Kremlin amnesty, Russia formally drops criminal charges against Greenpeace activists arrested in a protest over Arctic oil drilling. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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Russia formally drops criminal charges for Greenpeace activists arrested during a protest over Arctic oil drilling. Greenpeace said 29 of the 30 activists are now free to go. They were given amnesty and are free to leave Russia as soon as they get exit visas. The last activist's case will be reviewed on Thursday. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ARCTIC SUNRISE CAPTAIN PETER WILLCOX, SAYING: "We have accepted amnesty." Peter Willcox, captain of the Greenpeace vessel used in the protest, spoke to reporters: (SOUNDBITE) (English) ARCTIC SUNRISE CAPTAIN PETER WILLCOX, SAYING: "We don't admit any guilt or feel that we have anything to be blamed for. But we have accepted the amnesty that was offered by the Duma." The activists spent two months in detention. They faced hooliganism charges and could have faced up to seven years in jail. Dima Litvinov is preparing to leave the country: (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SWEDISH GREENPEACE ACTIVIST DIMA LITVINOV, SAYING: "We have submitted all the papers for an exit visa. We filled in all the forms, submitted all necessary documentation. So tomorrow I'm returning to get an exit visa. That's all, then I'm out of this country." Kremlin critics say their amnesty is a move to improve Russia's image ahead of the Sochi Olympics.

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Russia drops charges against Greenpeace activists

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - 01:19