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Russia drops charges against all 30 Greenpeace activists

December 26, 2013, 18:10 UTC+3 26
The 28 activists and two freelance journalists were arrested by Russian authorities in September after attempting to scale Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Barents Sea
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© EPA/ANGELA KOLYADA

ST. PETERSBURG, December 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Italian citizen Christian d'Alessandro on Thursday became the last "Arctic 30" Greenpeace protest activist to have a criminal case against him closed.

“He was notified that the case against him had been dropped,” an official of the environmental campaign group said. “All the 30 crew members have now been amnestied. He will join the others in waiting for transit visas.”

Earlier this week, Russia formally dropped criminal charges against the other 29 crew members of the Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise ship under a Kremlin-backed amnesty.

Christian d'Alessandro had not received necessary paperwork, which Greenpeace blamed on the absence of a translator. The Italian was invited to attend the formality on Thursday.

The organization expects that in the next two days, 26 of the activists will be granted transit visas and other documents necessary to leave Russia for a return to their home countries.

The 28 activists and two freelance journalists were arrested by Russian authorities in September after attempting to scale Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Barents Sea.

They were seized by Russian security guards and their vessel was towed to the port of Murmansk. The protesters — nationals of 18 countries, including four Russians — were initially taken into custody on charges of piracy, later downgraded to hooliganism.

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