Swiss Greenpeace activist gets exit visa

Marco Weber waves after visiting the Federal Migration Service, where he received permission to leave Russia Keystone

Swiss Greenpeace activist Marco Weber and 13 other “Arctic 30” protesters have received official permission to leave Russia, Greenpeace told on Thursday.

This content was published on December 26, 2013 - 16:33 and agencies

Weber, along with all but one of the members of the so-called “Arctic 30” group, was informed on Wednesday that all charges against them were being dropped in connection with a decree by the Russian Parliament, which approved amnesty for thousands of prisoners last week.

The Arctic 30 – 28 Greenpeace International activists and two freelance journalists – were arrested following a protest at a Gazprom-operated Arctic oil platform in September.

They were initially held in the northern city of Murmansk accused of piracy, but were subsequently transferred to St Petersburg. The charges were downgraded to hooliganism, which carries a maximum term of seven years. The group were later released on bail but were unable to leave the country.

A Greenpeace spokesman told swissinfo that the activists who had received visas "will depart from Russia in [the] coming days".

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