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      Archive: 12/20/2013
      11:04
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      News Brief

        12/20/2013, Tevet 17, 5774

      Khodorkovsky Heads High-Profile Putin Pardons


      Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a clemency order for Russian businessman Michael Khodorkovsky on Friday. Khodorkovsky - the son of a Jewish father - was imprisoned for about 10 years on a conviction for tax evasion and embezzlement. Against the backdrop of allegations the charges were politically motivated, Amnesty International designated Khodorkovsky as a Prisoner of Conscience.

      Putin also signed pardons for two members of the band Pussy Riot, who had been sentenced to two years in prison for an obscene protest against Putin, and 30 members of the environmental activist group Greenpeace who were arrested in September after they boarded an oil rig in the Barents Sea in protest of oil exploration there.