Russia: The Duma approved an amnesty for Greenpeace activists


Russia, December 17, 2013

Anton Beneslavsky, Greenpeace lawyer confirmed that the Duma – lower house of the Russian parliament – approved an amnesty for people who are under investigation, among which are 30 Greenpeace activists. Now, Russian authorities have six months to apply the benefit.

“The amnesty will affect people who are already in prison and those who are still facing the courts or are under investigation” said Deputy Pavel Kracheninnikov.

However, he did not say when the charges of vandalism against the defendants will be removed. “This will not happen overnight” he told news agency DPA.

The 30 activists aboard the “Arctic Sunrise” were released last month in St. Petersburg, but the 26 foreigners in the group cannot leave the city while being carried out an investigation against them.

At first reading, the Duma approved a decree of amnesty for thousands of Russian prisoners, including expected also to members of the music group Pussy Riot and Greenpeace activists who were arrested in the Arctic. On Wednesday it will be voted an amended version of the decree, which was enacted earlier this month by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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