Russia grants Greenpeace activist amnesty

Associated Press
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, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. Russia's parliament last Wednesday passed an amnesty bill that will likely apply to the 30-member crew of a Greenpeace ship detained after an Arctic protest, but it wasn't immediately clear if and when the activists would be allowed to leave the country. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
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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 the activist, Anthony Perrett of the United Kingdom, had been told he could collect paperwork for leaving Russia on Thursday.

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 haven't 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.

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