Arctic 30: Brazilian & NZ activists granted bail, Australian Colin Russell bail refused

Press release - 19 November, 2013
Sydney 10:10PM, Amsterdam November 19th: Two Greenpeace activists from Brazil and New Zealand were today granted bail in St Petersburg, becoming the fourth and fifth of the so-called Arctic 30 to be told they will soon be released, while Australian Colin Russell was refused bail and ordered to return to jail until February 24. No reason for the different treatment was given by the courts.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner Reece Turner has called on the Abbott government to step up and do what it can to secure bail for Mr Russell too.

Mr Turner said, "Who knows why our peaceful environmentalist Australian Colin Russell was not granted bail while others of the Arctic30 have, but this development underlines the need for the Prime Minister Tony Abbott to get on the phone and do all that he can for Colin and his family to secure his swift and safe return to Australia."

In another new development today, the Labor Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Tanya Plibersek and Attorney General Mark Dreyfus issued the first statement from the Labor Party. It calls on the Abbott government to step up diplomatic efforts to secure bail for Colin Russell. It says Prime Minister Abbott and his Foreign Minister must act as well, to urge proportionality and fairness in Russia's response to the Arctic30.

Brazilian Ana Paula Maciels, 31, and David Haussmann from New Zealand, 49, from New Zealand were told they will be released from jail if they can provide financial surety within four days.

The development came the day after three Russian activists were told on Monday 18 November they would be released from prison and, on the same day, and Australian activist Colin Russell was refused bail.

Ana Paula’s mother Rosangela Maciel said this morning, "This is the most lovely news I’ve got in the last two months, but justice will only be done when all the absurd charges are dropped. A person who only does good for the planet, like my daughter, must be recognised by their actions, not unjustly accused. This is the only way we can keep the faith in the future."

Commenting on the development in the Primorskiy District Court, Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace said, “In the space of two mornings we have had good news and bad, and the good news comes with a warning. We still have no idea what conditions our friends will endure when they are released from jail, whether they will be held under house arrest or even allowed outside. What we do know for certain is that they are still charged and could spend years behind bars if they are convicted for a crime they did not commit. And we remain baffled and heartbroken that our colleague Colin was refused bail and sent back to prison for three months. The Arctic 30 will not be free until every last one of them is back home with their families.”

Ana Paula is a 31-year-old biologist and a crewmember on Greenpeace ships. She is the youngest of her three siblings and has been with Greenpeace since 2006, when she first began volunteering for the organisation in Brazil. David has spent all his life in rural New Zealand enjoying the outdoors lifestyle and working as a electrician. While working in Port Nelson, in 1999, he was introduced to Greenpeace and shortly after joined the Greenpeace ship 'Rainbow Warrior' as an electrical engineer. He has worked on countless campaigns whilst sailing for the past 13 years, some with his partner Sarah.

Prosecutors in court are not seeking extension of detention for piracy — the original charge brought against the 30. However, formal withdrawal of the piracy charge requires a written statement. Lawyers for the detainees have petitioned for such a statement but it has not been given — indicating that this is a policy decision and not an oversight by the authorities.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Alison Orme 0432 332 104
Greenpeace International press desk: +31 20 718 24 70 or
Greenpeace International picture desk: +31 20 718 24 71
Greenpeace International video desk: +31 20 718 24 72