Arctic30: Nine more activists granted bail, Australian Colin Russell refused bail

Press release - 19 November, 2013
Sydney, Amsterdam November 20th: Nine Greenpeace activists were yesterday granted bail in St Petersburg. Twelve of the so-called Arctic 30 have now been told they will soon be released. But Australian Colin Russell, was refused bail on Monday. Greenpeace says it will vigorously challenge the order to keep him in jail. 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."

Australian permanent resident Alexandra Harris (UK) who lives in Manly and works in Greenpeace Australia Pacfic's Sydney office, is due to appear in court at 10:30am (17:30PM Sydney time) St Petersburg time today.

The activists granted bail yesterday are Sini Saarela from Finland; David Haussmann from New Zealand; Miguel Hernan Perez Orzi from Argentina; Paul D. Ruzycki from Canada; Camila Speziale from Argentina; Tomasz Dziemianczuk from Poland; Francesco Pisanu from France; Christian D'Alessandro from Italy and Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel from Brazil.

They were told they will be released from jail if they can provide financial surety of 2 million rubles (45k Euros).

The development came the day after three Russian activists were told on Monday 18 November they would be released from prison.

Mads Christensen of Greenpeace said, “We cannot be at all confident that the Arctic 30 are going home any time soon. None of them have passports, so as things stand at the very least they could be restricted to Russian territory. And they are still charged with at least one very serious offence which could see them jailed for many years. Nobody at Greenpeace is celebrating yet.”

Patti Stirling, sister of Paul Ruzycki, said, “It’s a bittersweet day. We’re very happy Paul is coming out of jail, but we know his first thoughts will be for the people he’s leaving behind in prison. All of the Arctic 30, including Paul, are still facing very serious charges and we can’t for a moment think this is a victory.”

Camila´s mother Paula Boscaroli said, "We cannot wait to hug Camila and tell her how much we love her".

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."

Today's hearings:
In Primorsky Court: 10:00 Faiza Oulahsen; 10:30 Alexandra Harris; 12:00 Kieron Bryan (to be confirmed); 14:00 Anne Mie Jensen; 14:00 Mannes Ubels.
Kalininsky Court: 11:00 Peter Wilcox; 13:00 Anthony Perrett; 15:00 Marco Weber (to be confirmed).

Profiles of all the activists and freelance journalists here:

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