EU presidency and Commission to raise case of Greenpeace activists and journalists detained following Arctic protest

Press release - October 23, 2013
WHAT: The European Commission and the Lithuanian EU presidency will make a statement in the European Parliament in Strasbourg this (Wednesday) afternoon about the case of twenty-eight Greenpeace International activists and two freelance journalists who are being detained in Russia on charges of piracy.

MEPs from different political groups will then take the floor in an exchange with the Commission and presidency.

Greenpeace will issue a press comment following the statements. Please follow for the latest updates.

WHERE: European Parliament plenary, Strasbourg.

WHEN: Under the European Parliament agenda, the statements are scheduled for 6PM CET on Wednesday 23 October 2013.

BACKGROUND: The Greenpeace activists and the journalists were detained following a peaceful protest against the Gazprom drilling platform Prirazlomnaya on 18 September, as part of Greenpeace’s global campaign to protect the Arctic. They are in pre-trial detention in the city of Murmansk. Piracy carries a 10-15 year sentence under Russian law.

A growing group of members of the European Parliament (currently 74 from 19 countries and seven different political groups) have signed a solidarity statement calling for the immediate release of the Greenpeace activists and the journalists. The parliamentarians also called for a ban on oil drilling in the fragile Arctic environment, where extreme weather conditions would make cleaning up an oil spill impossible. The solidarity statement is available here:

For the latest information on court hearings in Murmansk, please follow or visit

MEDIA CONTACTS: Greenpeace EU climate policy director Joris den Blanken is in Strasbourg and available for comment: +32 (0)476 961375

Greenpeace EU pressdesk – +32 (0)2 274 1911,

For breaking news and comment on EU affairs, follow:

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.