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Russia Drops Charges Against 29 Greenpeace Crew

Published: December 26, 2013 (Issue # 1792)




  • Photo: Photo: ANGRA 3 / Greenpeace Flickr

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Russian investigators have dropped charges against all but one of the 30 crew of a Greenpeace ship, who were accused of hooliganism following a protest outside a Russian oil rig in the Arctic, the group said Wednesday.

Cristian d'Alessandro of Italy failed to get his criminal case closed due to the lack of an interpreter and will have to visit the St.Petersburg branch of Russia's Investigative Committee again on Thursday, said Violetta Ryabko, a Greenpeace spokeswoman.

The criminal charges against the crew were closed under an amnesty that was passed by the parliament earlier this month, seen by many as an attempt by the Kremlin to dampen the criticism of Russia's human rights record before the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

Ryabko said that foreign members of the crew had already applied to the Russian authorities for exit visas to leave Russia and expect to get them in the next few days.

The 30 crew members aboard a Greenpeace ship were detained in September and held in custody for two months before they were released on bail in November. They were originally charged with piracy, but that was then downgraded to hooliganism.

"That was an extremely odd Christmas morning," Frank Hewetson of Britain was quoted by Grenpeace as saying Wednesday.

Peter Willcox, the U.S. captain of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, said in a statement released by the group that he was "pleased and relieved the charges have been dropped, but we should not have been charged at all."

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has questioned the Greenpeace protesters intentions to protect the Arctic and alleged that they were trying to hurt Russia's economic interests. He said earlier this month that he did not mind that charges against the Greenpeace team were dropped under the amnesty, but that he hoped that "this will not happen again."





 


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Thursday, Apr. 24


Learn more about Denmark during the Danish Business Delegation’s visit to SPIBA this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Danish Culture Institute. Danish Consul general Klaus Sorensen will be in attendance and the buffet following a presentation on Danish companies in Russia will be the perfect opportunity to network with the assembled businessmen.


AmCham’s Human Resources Committee Meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning in their St. Petersburg office. Check their website for more details.



Friday, Apr. 25


Light Music presents the main events for their Cultural Kitchen project at Loft-Project Etagi today. A B2B event that focuses on Finnish food, arts, travel, music and design, the evening will conclude with a dinner by chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and dancing to music by Aino Venna. The event, which began yesterday with presentations by tourism and cultural institutions, concludes today with a preview of Finland’s Flow festival and other musical events. Invitations are available from www.culturalkitchen.fi.



Saturday, Apr. 26


At 6 p.m. this evening, stylist Liliana Modigliani offers 50 simple ways to up your style quotient with beauty tips at the Galeria shopping center on Ligovsky Prospekt. The event is part of the final day of the shopping mall’s Fashion Saturday sales event, this week focusing on top brands located on the ground floor as well as presentation from fashion experts on sprucing up your spring look.



Sunday, Apr. 27


Families shouldn’t miss Childhood Planet 2014, the trade fair that started yesterday and concludes today at LenExpo. Not only will goods and services be provided for children and families but the event hopes to promote Russian brands and eco-friendly products using the latest technology available in the childcare industry.



Monday, Apr. 28


The Hotel Indigo will be the site of SPIBA’s Acting Skills for HR and Other Managers master class this morning starting at 9 a.m. The event will begin with coffee before moving on to the class itself and conclude with a tour of the recently opened hotel. Confirm attendance by Apr. 24.



Tuesday, Apr. 29


Improve your English at the British Book Center’s Interactive English Lesson tonight at 6 p.m. Students at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels are welcome discuss topics that are selected to help learners master the more difficult aspects of English grammar and vocabulary.