Arctic30: Australian Colin Russell imprisoned for 3 months more, 3 Russians granted bail

Press release - 18 November, 2013
Canberra, 19 November - A St Petersburg Court has agreed to an application to extend the detention of 59 year old Tasmanian and Greenpeace ship radio operator Colin Russell for a further 3 months until 24 February 2014. This means he could be held in prison for five months before the charges are heard.

Three Russian members of the Arctic30, including a freelance photographer, doctor and campaigner, have had their bail applications approved but Greenpeace is unaware of any restrictions or conditions of bail. 

Mr Russell made statements to the judge during proceedings open to the media: “I have spent two months [in prison] for nothing and I don’t know why. There was no violence from our side. I have never been violent, ever."

When asked by the lawyer if he would escape the court Mr Russell said; “I am innocent, I have nothing to run from.” (Comprehensive video footage of the hearing available on request). 

Mr Russell’s wife Christine and daughter Madeleine have expressed their fears for his well-being and desire for the Abbott government to escalate their efforts to secure his release. 

Wife Christine Russell said, “The nightmare of Colin’s detention for his peaceful actions has taken a turn for the worse today. 

“My daughter Maddy and I are hopeful that this new development leads to the Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop doing more for Colin who is a decent man who does not deserve to be in detention or face these ludicrous charges.” 

The so called ‘Arctic30’,  comprising 28 crew members including Mr Russell, two permanent residents of Australia Alexandra Harris and Jon Beauchamp and two freelance journalists, have already been imprisoned for over two months. 

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner said, “All our colleagues tried to do was hang a small banner on a large oil rig. How on earth does that warrant months in detention and possibly lengthy jail terms?

“Extending incarceration when Russian authorities have already had two months to investigate and gather evidence just shows what a sham the situation is. 

“I know Colin personally and his love of the sea, the natural environment and concern for the damage done by fossil fuel companies is genuine. He does not deserve to face piracy and hooliganism charges.

‘For the Abbott government to not at least match other world leaders like UK Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel is disappointing.”

Greenpeace has been informed that Alex Harris, 27, a UK citizen who is a permanent Australian resident and lives in Manly will be in court for a similar hearing this Wednesday 20 November.

Contact: Alison Orme Greenpeace Australia Pacific 0432 332 104

First 11 pictures - Link to 'Arctic 30 in St.Petersburg' photo shoot: (Dmitri Sharomov - 30 pictures):
First 6 pictures - Link to 'Arctic 30 in St.Petersburg' photo shoot: (Igor Podgorny - 53 pictures):
Flickr set: 

Link to ''Arctic 30' (Photo) Part 2 collection complete set:

4 minute news access edit showing Colin Russell's hearing. Some excellent quotes from Colin. To preview and download the material via our online library:  Please register for download

: Alison Orme Greenpeace Australia Pacific 0432 332 104