Amazing news! On Thursday evening, Colin Russell was in court in St Petersburg to appeal the decision that he should not be released on bail. Not even four minutes after we learned that his hearing had started, news came that Colin had been granted bail.
©Dmitri Sharomov / Greenpeace
Colin was released from detention Friday afternoon and shortly after, reunited with his family and friends gathered in St Petersburg
Over the past week, upon hearing that Colin was the only one of the Arctic 30 not to be released on bail, more than 100,000 people signed the petition for his release and sent messages of support to him and his wife Christine.
Christine, who has flown to Russia with their daughter Madeleine, said:
"This is such wonderful news – my daughter and I are one step closer to being in the arms of my darling Col. I am so relieved that my beautiful, peaceful man is out of detention. I want to thank everyone for their wonderful support during this nightmare of a time. It remains a really difficult time and it's only when all of the Arctic 30 are free to go home will we be able to properly celebrate. What I am hoping for is that Col, Maddy and I will be home in Woodbridge together by Christmas."
Despite today's good news, this is not over yet. These 28 activists and two freelance journalists have finally been freed from prison and reunited with friends and family, but they still stand accused of a crime they did not commit. They took peaceful action on behalf of us all, standing up against destructive Arctic oil drilling and the onslaught of climate change. Charging them with hooliganism is both an insult and an outrage and so no one will truly be celebrating until they've been allowed to return home and the charges against them have been dropped.
If you'd like to send a message of support to Colin, or any of the Arctic 30, you can do so here. Or if you haven't done so already, you can sign the petition to the Russian ambassador. Let's free the Arctic 30 for good and bring them home.