Russia Drops Criminal Charges Against The Arctic 30

1. UPDATE – Dec. 25, 9 p.m. ET:

2. On Wednesday, it was reported that all but one member of the Arctic 30 had their criminal charges dropped.

AP Photo/Greenpeace International, Dmitri Sharomov

The final activist’s case will be reviewed on Thursday, Greenpeace said.

3. “The final chapter in the legal ordeal of the Arctic 30 began today,” Greenpeace said in a written statement.

4. On Monday Russia announced it would drop its criminal charges against activist Anthony Perrett from Wales.

AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

6. All of the activists, plus two of the journalists involved, had been previously freed on bail.

AP Photo/Greenpeace International/Dmitri Sharomov

They’ve been granted amnesty under the same Russian law that saw the members of Pussy Riot freed earlier this week. Many people say Russia hopes this will improve the country’s human rights reputation ahead of the Sochi Olympics, beginning in two months.

7. Twenty-six people of the 30 are not Russian, and Greenpeace said they would be free to leave Russia once they had visas, adding:

“We know that getting those stamps would be the best Christmas present for the Arctic 30 and we hope it can happen quickly, but until such time as they do, we still cannot say when they will leave.”

Handout / Via Reuters

Greenpeace International activist Anthony Perrett ® from Britain poses with his lawyer Sergey Golubok.

Handout / Reuters

Greenpeace International activists Marco Paolo Weber (L) from Switzerland and videographer Kieron Bryan from Britain congratulate each other, after having the criminal charges against them dropped.

Handout / Reuters

Activist Miguel Hernan Perez Orsi from Argentina holds up papers certifying the termination of his criminal prosecution.

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