Arctic30: AUST Resident Alex Harris (UK) granted bail, AUST Ambassador visits Russian Foreign Ministry Moscow re AUST Colin Russell

Press release - 20 November, 2013
Sydney/Amsterdam, 20 November 2013 - At court hearings this morning Faiza Oulahsen from the Netherlands and British citizen Alexandra Harris who is permanent resident of Australia and works in Greenpeace's Sydney office became the 13th and 14th Arctic 30 prisoners to be granted bail.
At her bail hearing, Alexandra Harris told the court: “Every day in prison for me is connected with the struggle.” She also said: “I joined Greenpeace because I care about the environment and think the Earth should be saved for future generations.” 

Greenpeace Australia Senior Campaigner Reece Turner said: It's an immense relief that our colleague and friend Alex has been granted bail this evening, but sadly, with serious and unjustified charges still hanging over her head, there is little reason to celebrate yet." 

"We are also calling on the Australian Government to step up their response following the refusal of bail on Monday for Australian citizen Colin Russell."

The Australian ambassador to Russia today announced that he is visiting the Foreign Ministry in Moscow in an effort to find out why Greenpeace International activist Colin Russell was this week refused bail and ordered to return to jail for three months [1]. 

Colin, from Tasmania, was refused bail on Monday and returned to SIZO 4 detention centre in St Petersburg. Colin’s wife Christine told Australian public broadcaster ABC that civil servants have told her Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has made no representations about his case since early October [2]. When Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was asked in Parliament what help his government is doing to free Colin, he replied it offers consular assistance to all Australian citizens overseas but it never helps to make public comment if people are in trouble."

Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo said today: “We have 18 nationalities in jail and almost all of their governments are working hard to get them out. The only peaceful protester to be denied bail so far is an Australian, his government hasn’t done enough and they need to stand with him right now.” 

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner Reece Turner said: "The fact that Colin was denied bail while 14 others were granted it is deeply troubling. Prime Minister Abbott needs to phone President Putin now and find out what is needed from our government to get Colin released."

Lawyers for Greenpeace today said there are a number of bureaucratic issues to resolve before any of the Arctic 30 are released from jail and they do not expect any of them to be out of prison until the weekend, possibly later. It is still not clear whether their movements will then be restricted. None of them have passports after they were confiscated following the seizing of their ship Arctic Sunrise by Russian security forces. Greenpeace cautioned that the detainees will not be free until they are home with their families. They are still charged with at least one very serious offence and if convicted could face years in prison. 

Greenpeace International today said it has already posted bail for nine of the Arctic 30, but does not expect them to be released before the weekend. Lawyers say they are making bail payments - set at 2 million rubles (45,000 euros) for each detainee - as quickly as they can.The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) will announce its ruling on Friday in a case brought by the Netherlands seeking the immediate release and repatriation of the detainees, and the end of all legal proceedings against them. Twenty-one judges will give their verdict at 15:00 in Hamburg. 
Notes

[1] Ambassador Paul Myler tweeted: “Going to @mfa_russia this morning to express concern @ continued detention of #ColinRussell #Arctic30”. He added in a second tweet: “Not clear why a radio operator would be treated differently to rest of crew #Arctic30.”

[2] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-19/emotional-plea-from-family-of-greenpeace-activist-detained-in-r/5101838

Contacts:
Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media and Communications Alison Orme +61 (0)432 332 104
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

Pictures
Alex Harris first 11 pictures
Link to 'Arctic 30 in St.Petersburg' photo shoot: (Vladimir Baryshev - 65 pictures):

http://photo.greenpeace.org/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox&STID=27MZIF3Z7VRH&CT=Story

First 13 pictures
Link to 'Arctic 30 in St.Petersburg' photo shoot: (Igor Podgorny - 125 pictures):
http://photo.greenpeace.org/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox&STID=27MZIF3NNAAN&CT=Story

Flickr set:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenpeaceinternational/sets/72157637588451456/

Link to ''Arctic 30' (Photo) Part 2 collection complete set:
http://photo.greenpeace.org/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox_VPage&ALID=27MZIF3NM2UJ&CT=Album

Today’s hearings in Primorskiy court, with local times: 14:00 Anne MR Jensen (Den); 14:00 Mannes Ubels (NL); 12:00 Kieron Bryan (UK). In Kalininsky court: 11:00 Peter Willcox (USA) ; 13:00 Anthony Perrett (UK); 15:00 Marco Weber (SWISS)

Tomorrow’s hearings: Primorskiy court: 10:30 Alexandre Paul (CAN); 10:30 Ruslan Yakushev (UKR); 14:00 Gizem Akhan (TUR). Kalininsky court: 10:00 Jonathan Beauchamp (NZ); 11:00 Frank Hewetson (UK); 12:00 Iain Rogers (UK)

Categories
Tags