Jailed Greenpeace activists faces new charges

2013-11-02 09:19
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - Greenpeace on Friday accused the Russian authorities of failing to lift piracy charges against the 30 imprisoned crew of its Arctic Sunrise ship as promised, and merely adding new hooliganism charges.

The Investigative Committee, which is in charge of the high-profile probe against the 30 arrested on the ship that was protesting Russia's offshore oil drilling in the Arctic, initially accused the activists of piracy.

However, last Wednesday the Committee, Russia's equivalent of the US FBI, said in a statement that it had reclassified the crime as hooliganism, which carries a lesser sentence.

"The investigation has requalified the charges," the Committee said in a statement on 23 October. The new charge could still be punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Greenpeace, however, said on Friday that investigators have not presented the jailed activists or their lawyers with any official papers that cancel the previous charge, as would be required to actually remove it formally.

The organisation's executive director Kumi Naidoo said in a statement that instead of lesser charges, the activists now face potentially even longer jail terms.

"First this saga shocked people across the world, now it has descended into farce," he said in a statement, adding that the activists are "neither pirates nor hooligans".

Activists, journalists jailed

Through the week, activists and journalists who were on the ship and are now jailed in pre-trial cells in northern Russia's Murmansk, received their hooliganism charges, according to the organisation.

Greenpeace spokesperson Maria Favorskaya told AFP that "essentially, right now all 30 people have two charges".

The allegations came as French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault met with Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev and President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, raising the issue of a French national who is one of those held.

"I asked that he would make a humanitarian gesture toward [French activist Francesco Pisanu]," Ayrault told journalists after meeting with Medvedev.

The Russian prime minister said that Russia will not condone anyone's attempts to "influence technically complicated and unsafe processes" associated with extraction of natural resources, because objects like platforms are essentially "like a powder keg".

Favorskaya said that the hooliganism charge does not even work in international waters, where Greenpeace says the ship was boarded by coast guard on 19 September, after several activists scaled the Barents Sea rig belonging to state energy giant Gazprom.

The Investigative Committee has, however, made no new announcements since last week, with a representative telling AFP on Friday that "there is no new information".

Read more on:    greenpeace  |  dmitry medvedev  |  jean-marc ayrault  |  vladimir putin  |  russia  |  conservation

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.