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    Russia Releases Activists

    Greenpeace International activist Anthony Perrett of the United Kingdom shows to journalists his passport with permission to leave Russia, near the Federal Migration Service in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013. 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. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

    Seven arrested Greenpeace members will finally be able to leave Russia, with the rest of their crew not far behind. In Moscow, authorities dropped criminal charges against the environmentalists, who were part of a 30-person Greenpeace ship crew that was arrested at a protest outside an Arctic oil rig in September. All 30 arrested foreign members spent two months in jail before being released on bail. Greenpeace said Thursday that the rest of the crew will also likely receive exit visas soon. Russia’s decision to let the activists go home is seen as an attempt to brighten public perception of the country's human-rights record ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

    Read it at Houston Chronicle