Greenpeace vows to continue Arctic protestDecember 2013
Greenpeace says its campaign of opposition to Russia’s oil drilling project in the Arctic will continue even though 30 of its protesters were arrested during their demonstration in September.
The environment group re-stated its resolve after 28 of the protesters were freed on bail. The remaining two were expected to be released within a few days.
All 30 are charged with piracy and hooliganism and are banned from leaving Russia.
They had been taken into custody after sailing into the Pechora Sea on the Greenpeace International icebreaker Arctic Sunrise and approaching the platform from which Gazprom intends to drill.
Four of the activists scaled the platform and were arrested. Then commandoes dropped by ropes on to the Arctic Sunrise to arrest the others, and the ship was impounded.
Greenpeace claims oil operations will compromise three nearby nature reserves protected by Russian law.
It insists the raid lacked justification because the demonstration was outside Russian territorial waters, and that piracy charges cannot be applied to peaceful actions.
John Sauven, Greenpeace UK’s executive director, said of the proposed drilling: “What makes their Arctic plans so blindly stupid is that they’re only able to drill there because of the huge loss of Arctic sea ice from climate change.”
More than two million letters and emails supporting the Greenpeace activists have been sent to the Russian authorities, including personal correspondence from the former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney to President Vladimir Putin.
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