Commandos seize Greenpeace ship - Footage released

2013-11-11 08:41
Russian commandos board the Arctic Sunrise. (YouTube)

Russian commandos board the Arctic Sunrise. (YouTube)

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Cape Town – Greenpeace has released close-up footage of the moment Russian commandos boarded the Arctic Sunrise campaign boat and detained the crew at gun point.

The two-and-a-half minute video shows a Russian army helicopter hovering over the boat while a special forces trooper abseils onto the platform as Greenpeace campaigners stand around with their hands held up.

The Russian commandos were heavily armed.

Thirty activists from 18 countries have been arrested on piracy charges after several tried to scale Russian energy company Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil platform in the Barents Sea on 18 September.

The Netherlands is in the midst of a protracted battle with Russian authorities and are arguing that Russia violated UN maritime regulations.

In the meantime Greenpeace has used the incident to leverage support for their global environmental cause.

Eleven Nobel Peace Prize laureates including Desmond Tutu have called on President Vladimir Putin to drop the excessive charges of piracy and respect the right to non-violent protest.

Greenpeace supporters across the world have held vigils for the release of the “Arctic 30” and South African supporters staged protests outside former apartheid detention centres in South Africa in October.

Despite the arrest Greenpeace has vowed that it will not change its campaign approach.

Greenpeace Africa executive director, Michael O’Brien Onyeka recently told News24 that “It’s the kind of system of operation that we believe brings results. From our perspective we will continue to do that”.

“The Russian situation has not in any way made us consider shifting our strategy,” he said.

Read more on:    greenpeace  |  gazprom  |  desmond tutu  |  russia  |  environment
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