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Greenpeace activists allowed to leave Russia

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 26, 2013 at 7:35 a.m.

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Russian authorities on Thursday issued visas to seven of 30 members of a Greenpeace ship crew that allow them to leave the country after dropping criminal charges against them over a protest outside an Arctic oil rig.

Greenpeace said Thursday that other foreign members of the crew were expected to get their exit visas soon.

The 30 people were arrested in September after 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 that was seen as an attempt by the Kremlin's to assuage the criticism of Russia's human-rights record before the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

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