"Russia Drops Charges Against 29 Greenpeace Activists, One Still Held"

"ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — 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."

Irina Titova reports for the Associated Press December 25, 2013.

Source: AP, 12/26/2013