Save the Artic, Free Greenpeace Activists

Recently, a court within Russia sent a total of 30 individuals which are Greenpeace activists to jail, due to their protesting at an Arctic waters drilling platform. It is noted that the courts did not show any leniency for any one of these individuals.

At the beginning of the court, there were a total of two journalists and twenty activists that were sent to jail during a court session that seemed to last nearly all night long. In fact the court had to hold eight of them until they were able to hold the hearings the next day.

So far, it is not noted that there are any charges that have been brought against any of the individuals. These people are citizens of 18 various countries, which includes Russia. The prosecutors are determining whether they should be charging them against piracy, along with other offenses, while these activists are being held for the investigation to be pursued.

It is said that a Russian Coast Guard actually disrupted one of their attempts to scale the platform on September 18, 2013. The very next day, the ship of Greenpeace was seized, and it was taken to Murmansk with all of the individuals on board.

The campaign director of Greenpeace described the seize as being one of the most hostile and aggressive acts since 1985 when the Rainbow Warrior ship was bombed by the agents of the French Governement which left one man dead.

Peter Wilcox, which was known as the captain of the Rainbow Warrior was also the captain of the Arctic Sunrise, the ship which was recently seized. During the court hearing, he was one of those that were ordered to be held until further notice.

Of those that were ordered into jail after their hearings included a single Ukrainian cook, a Brazilian deckhand, two Dutch citizens, two British activists, a Finnish activist (one of which was caught trying to scale the platform), and a Greenpeace spokesman that has both a Swedish and U.S. citizenship.

It has been seen that Greenpeace has pictures of each hearing on their website, along with photos of those standing and sitting in the cage for the defendants.

The platform that they had been trying to scale, belongs to the oil subsidiary Gazprom. This is the very first offshore rig that can be found in the Arctic. It was deployed back in 2011, however the launching has been delayed due to some challenges they are having with the technology. It was said that this month it is going to start pumping oil this year, however they have been unable to set up a precise date that will tell when it shall start to pump.

As for the activists, they have a long two month wait before they are out again. This isn’t saying that as soon as they are released they won’t be trying again for their protest. However, the next time, the court might not be as lenient as they were this time which calls for higher fines and longer jail time.


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