Russia begins dropping charges on ‘Arctic 30’

Greenpeace25 December 2013, News Wires -Russia has reportedly begun the process of dropping the charges of hooliganism against 28 environmental activists and two freelancers over a protest at an Arctic oil platform.

Environmental group Greenpeace said that Welshman Anthony Perrett had his charges dropped and had been told by Russia’s emigration service he would be telephoned on 26 December to collect his exit visa.

Further hearings are expected to be held over the coming days, but the process may take several weeks to complete.

Each of the 30, who are presently out on bail, faced up to six years in jail if convicted of hooliganism over 18 September’s demonstration at the Gazprom Neft Shelf-operated Prirazlomnoye oil platform in the Pechora Sea.

Earlier this month, Russia’s parliament passed a plan put forward by Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon 25,000 minor offenders and suspects, including the group, to mark the 20th anniversary of the passing of the Russian constitution.

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