December 26, 2013

Nearly half of Greenpeace activists will be allowed to leave Russia

Greenpeace said other foreign members of the crew were expected to get their exit visas on Friday.

The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Russian authorities issued exit visas to 14 of the 30 Greenpeace members on Thursday, a move which will allow them to leave the country and comes after charges were dropped against them over a protest outside an Arctic oil rig.

Greenpeace said other foreign members of the crew, including Peter Willcox of Connecticut, were expected to get their exit visas on Friday. Willcox is married to Maggy Willcox of Islesboro, Maine. It wasn’t clear Thursday when Peter Wilcox would leave Russia.

The 30 people were arrested in September following a protest outside a Russian oil rig in the Arctic and spent two months in jail before they were granted bail in November.

Hooliganism charges against the crew were later dropped after Russia’s parliament passed an amnesty law seen as an attempt to assuage criticism of Russia’s human rights record before the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

Greenpeace said Anthony Perrett of Britain was the first to get a visa Thursday.

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