Updates from the Arctic Sunrise activists

Feature story - 1 August, 2014
The Arctic 30 spent more than three months in a Russian detention centre, despite the fact that the seizure of their ship and the imprisonment of the activists were deemed illegal by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. As one activist said, "They didn't lock us up for what we did. They locked us up for what we stood for." Their act of civil disobedience was a courageous stand against destructive Arctic oil drilling and the onslaught of climate change.

From peaceful action to dramatic seizure — below is a timeline of events since the Arctic Sunrise took action on 18 September 2013, all times CET.

Jump to the Latest

Week 1 (Sep 18 - Sep 24)

September 18, 2013

02.34 - Four inflatables leave the Arctic Sunrise heading towards Gazprom's oil platform, the Prirazlomnaya. Activists attempt to climb and establish themselves on the outside structure of the platform to protest against imminent drilling.

They are here to peacefully protest against the Arctic oil rush, which threatens grave harm to the Arctic environment, as well as extracting more oil that humanity cannot afford to burn. The Prirazlomnaya is the first oil rig to start oil production in the ice-filled waters of the Arctic. Safety culture on the rig is a joke.

The nearby Russian Coast Guard ship quickly responds by launching inflatables manned with agents masked in balaclavas. They proceed to ram and slash the Greenpeace inflatables, threaten activists at gun and knife point and fire warning shots from automatic weapons. Further, the remaining crew onboard the Arctic Sunrise count 11 shots fired across the bow from the Coast Guard vessel's artillery cannon.

Action Against Gazprom's Arctic Drilling. 09/18/2013 © Denis Sinyakov / Greenpeace

The Coast Guard seizes activists Sini and Marco, who had managed to climb on to the structure before being forced to retreat by water cannons and several warning shots by hand guns, taking them aboard their vessel.

The remaining activist returns to the Arctic Sunrise that stays in the vicinity but no closer than 3 nautical miles to the Prirazlomnaya.

17.28 - Camila, a 21 year-old activist from Argentina, describes the action in a blog post.

September 19, 2013

13.30 - The Coast Guard describes Marco and Sini as 'guests' but requests to speak to them from the Arctic Sunrise and their lawyer go unanswered. As far as is known, no charges are read out.

15.15 - Around 40 minutes after boarding it appears the radio room has been broken into.

16.35 - The Arctic Sunrise alarm system is activated. Phone calls and tweets from the ship report a helicopter hovering over the ship. FSB agents descend onto the deck by ropes. The boarding happens outside Russian territorial waters in the Russian Exclusive Economic Zone. No legal basis is announced for several days.

Three people manage to lock themselves into the radio room from where they provide an eyewitness account of developments on the ship.

They report an estimated 15-16 armed agents on board, who round up the rest of the crew on the helicopter deck.

19.43 - We receive a phone call from the ship on a bad line. The activists and crew are being gathered in the mess by the FSB agents. Sini and Marco have been brought back on the Arctic Sunrise.

22.00 - The first protest in front of a Russian embassy takes place in Washington DC. More than 30 countries follow over the next day.

22.16 - Russian state media report the Arctic Sunrise is going to be taken to Murmansk, Russia.

September 20, 2013

12.03 - Greenpeace confirms that the Arctic Sunrise has begun to move West in the direction of Murmansk, Russia. The phones on the ship are not answering.

13.00 - Greenpeace responds to a Russian media report, quoting a senior official on Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya oil platform who describes a Greenpeace safety pod used in the protest as 'resembling a bomb'. In reality the safety pod — designed to keep the activists warm — measures 3 meters long by 2 meters wide, is brightly coloured, and heavily branded with Greenpeace logos.

Greenpeace Training with the Safety Pod. 09/09/2013 © Denis Sinyakov / Greenpeace

14.01 - Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, flag state of the Arctic Sunrise, says that Russian authorities should have contacted the Netherlands before attempting any boarding of the ship.

September 21, 2013

15.20 - Professor Geert-Jan Knoops, a professor of international criminal law at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, is quoted in Dutch media saying:
"As far as the facts are known to me exactly, the Russian coast guard was not entitled [to board the ship]".

15.45 - Still without any news from the Arctic Sunrise crew, Greenpeace International strongly rejects any allegation of piracy. It appears that the Russian government is grasping at straws to justify what was clearly an illegal boarding of the Arctic Sunrise in international waters.

September 22, 2013

16.35 - It has been 72 hours since Russian authorities seized the Arctic Sunrise in Russian EEZ without any legal basis.

September 23, 2013

06.03 - Stefan Kirchner, Visiting Professor for Fundamental and Human Rights, University of Lapland tweets: ‏"#FreeTheArctic30 Russia violated international law re @gp_sunrise, see quick analysis at http://bit.ly/1eAXnxm"

11.57 - More than 50 environmental groups call for the immediate release of the 30 Greenpeace International activists being held under armed guard on the Arctic Sunrise under tow towards Murmansk.

17.32 - Douglas Guilfoy, Reader in Law, University College London, International law, Law of the Sea, Piracy Profile tweets: "@Patagorda @Greenpeace In my view, only protest which is violent and directed at another ship could be piracy: http://www.ejiltalk.org/political-motivation-and-piracy-what-history-doesnt-teach-us-about-law/ "
Blog on similar legal scenarios here.

September 24, 2013

09.00 - Someone onboard manages to send a few mobile phone images from the Arctic Sunrise in the fjord of Murmansk. Images for download here.

10.11 - The Arctic Sunrise comes to a full halt and anchors just outside to Murmansk, see Google map here. Greenpeace response to possible charges of piracy.

14.00 - Still at anchor just outside Murmansk and no official charges have been brought, Greenpeace demands access to detained activists.

15.00 - A diplomatic delegation (18 people, representing 9 nationalities) went on board the Arctic Sunrise and left two hours later after holding face to face meetings with respective nationalities on board.

16.01 - Chief researcher at the Institute of State and Law and expert of the Law of the Sea, Vasiliy Gutsulyak, gives an interview on Vesti FM on the use of the piracy paragraph. He calls it overstretched. Actually so overstretched that it in his expert opinion is unlikely to be used.
Audio

17.45 - We have just spoken with the crew. They have been asked to prepare to leave the ship. We don't yet know where they're going.

18.02 - We have have had some limited contact with our friends on board. They are all fine for now. Some of them have even been able to do sneak calls to friends and family. We should be grateful as long as they are together on the ship. We released three pictures from inside the ship.

^ Top

Week 2 (Sep 25 - Oct 01)

September 25, 2013

08.48 - The Greenpeace activists who boarded a Russian oil rig are "obviously not pirates," says President Vladimir Putin in a speech during the plenary session of the Third International Arctic Forum "The Arctic – Territory of Dialogue" held in Salekhard, Russia.

14.00 - Greenpeace International welcomes President Putin's statement that the activists were obviously not pirates. In addition, footage apparently taken from Gazprom's rig during the action on September 18th shows that the Greenpeace International activists posed no threat, while the security forces fired shots near the Greenpeace rhibs.

19.15 - Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans informs Dutch parliament that he is considering legal action against Russia if the demand of the Netherlands to release the Arctic Sunrise and its crew remains unanswered.

September 26, 2013

07.00 - A preliminary court hearing starts in Murmansk to decide if the piracy investigation should continue, and if the activists should remain free during said investigation.

Greenpeace Activists Held In Murmansk. 09/24/2013 © Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace

08.30 - One and a half an hour late, the crew and activists are brought to the court room in Murmansk. They are in good spirit, looking resolute. A few even greet and thank the many representatives from media. They are cuffed on hands and feet.

08.55 - Russians, French, and Canadian crew members are first in preliminary court hearing. Many people trying to jam into the courtrooms.

12:36 - Freelance photographer Denis Sinyakov to be held in custody for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

Denis Sinyakov At The Leninsky District Court Of Murmansk. 09/26/2013 © Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace

2nd court decision: Greenpeace spokesperson Roman Dolgov to be held in custody for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

Roman Dolgov At The Leninsky District Court Of Murmansk. 09/26/2013 © Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace

More images from Greenpeace Photo Desk.

13.45 - Watch livestream here. 

13.55 - Greenpeace International responds to two Russian court decisions.

14.15 - Canadian crew member Poul Douglas Ruzycki to be held in custody for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

New Zealand crew member David John Haussmann to be held in custody for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

Polish activist Tomasz Dziemianczuk to be held in custody for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

Deckhand Francesco Pisanu from France to be detained for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

Boat mechanic Jonathan Beauchamp from New Zealand to be held in custody for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

Paul Ruzycki At The Leninsky District Court Of Murmansk. 09/26/2013 © Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace

15.00 - RECAP: 7 Greenpeace activists have been through preliminary hearing and are to be held in custody pending piracy investigation.

15.10 - Greenpeace International spokesperson Dima Litvinov from Sweden to be held in custody for 3 days before new hearing.

15.30 - Capt Pete Willcox from US to be detained for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

15.55 - Assistant cook Gizem Akhan from Turkey to be detained for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

16.09 - Another Russian activist to be detained for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

16.38 - Greenpeace spokesperson Faiza Oulahsen from the Netherlands to be held in custody for 3 days before new hearing.

Faiza Oulahsen At The Leninsky District Court Of Murmansk. 09/26/2013 © Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace

16.45 - Another crew member, a Ukranian cook, to be held in custody for 3 days before new hearing.

17.05 - Activist Marco Weber from Switzerland, who tried to scale Prirazlomnaya, to be detained for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

17.24 - Investigation committee say they need to arrest activists for 3 reasons: may continue criminal activity, destroy evidence, flee the country.

17.39 - Deckhand Ana Paula Maciel from Brazil to be held in custody for 3 days before new hearing.

19.30 - Italian crew member, Cristian D'Alessandro, to be detained for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

Canadian Bosun, Alexandre Paul, to be detained for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

Finnish activist, Sini Saarela, to be held in custody for 3 days before new hearing.

UK activist, Frank Hewetson, to be held in custody for 3 days before new hearing.

Danish 3rd mate, Anne Mie Roer Jensen, to be detained for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

Dutch Chief Engineer, Mannes Ubels, to be held in custody for 3 days before new hearing.

Sini Saarela, At The Leninsky District Court Of Murmansk. 09/26/2013 © Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace

20.17 - UK activist, Phil Ball, to be detained for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

Argentinian activist, Camila Speziale, to be detained for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

Phillip Ball At The Leninsky District Court Of Murmansk. 09/26/2013 © Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace

20.45 - UK freelance videographer, Kieron Bryan, to be held in custody for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

Australian Radio Operator, Colin Keith Russell, to be detained for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

Argentinian 2nd mate, Miguel Hernan Perez Orzi, to be detained for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

21:43 - UK activist, Anthony Perret, to be held in custody for 3 days before new hearing.

September 27, 2013

00.10 - 2nd Engineer Iain Rogers from the UK to be detained for 2 months pending piracy investigation.

00.24 - Greenpeace condemned a series of Russian court rulings which left dozens of activists in custody pending investigations into a peaceful Arctic oil protest. Greenpeace insisted it would not be intimidated and its lawyers would lodge an appeal seeking their immediate release.

00.39 - At the end of a long day, the Arctic 30 were seen by six judges. No charges were laid, but all 30 are still being detained; 22 are being held for two months as Russian authorities pursue an investigation around piracy charges while eight are being held for three days awaiting a new hearing. Their names and status are listed here.

September 28, 2013

10.30 - Russian federal investigators have boarded the Arctic Sunrise this morning for inspection. Captain Peter Willcox, still being detained, is present for the Investigative Committee inspection of the ship.

Learn more about Captain Willcox here.

September 29, 2013

04.00 - Since September 19th, activists have been standing in solidarity with the Arctic 30 in front of Gazprom HQ in Moscow. Russian law says that if a person alone protests, they don't need permission. So it's been 1 person at a time for 9 days.

09.00 - Five activists have arrived at the Leninsky Court in Murmansk. There are lots of media present for the hearing of the final 8 activists today. pic.twitter.com/NO5aTAxu0I

10.00 - Spokesperson Dima Litvinov (US/SE) to be held in custody for 2 months, until Nov 24th, pending a piracy investigation.

10.30 - A great number of legal experts have commented on the boarding and seizure of the Arctic Sunrise and on the potential piracy charges against the Arctic 30.

13.20 - Ukrainian crew member to be held in custody for 2 months, until Nov 24th, pending a piracy investigation.

14.00 - Activist Faiza Oulahsen from the Netherlands is to be held in custody until Nov 24th pending a piracy investigation.

14.35 - Crew member Mannes Ubels from The Netherlands is to be held in custody until Nov 24th pending a piracy investigation.

Activist Frank Hewetson from the UK to be held in custody until Nov 24th pending a piracy investigation.

Finnish activist Sini Saarela to be held in custody until Nov 24th pending a piracy investigation.

15.45 - Activist Anthony Perrett from Wales, UK, is to be held in custody until Nov 24th pending a piracy investigation.

16.40 - Crew member Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel from Brazil is to be held in custody until Nov 24th pending a piracy investigation.

19.20 - A further eight Greenpeace International activists have been detained for two months in Russia pending an investigation into possible charges of piracy. The eight will join 22 others, including a freelance videographer and freelance photographer, detained on Thursday following a peaceful protest against Arctic oil drilling. Greenpeace International pledged to appeal all 30 detentions.

The 30 have already been held by the Russian authorities for 10 days since the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise was illegally boarded in international waters on Thursday, September 19.

September 30, 2013

17.00 - Legal experts challenge piracy allegations against peaceful Greenpeace activists. Read more here.

Legal experts challenge piracy allegations

October 01, 2013

18.00 - Greenpeace legal team informed that two activists, Sini Saarela and Dima Litvinov, will be charged on Wednesday 2 October at 08:30 CET.

21.00 - Greenpeace activists unfurl a 28m wide banner reading 'Gazprom, Don't Foul The Arctic' at Basel's St. Jakob Park stadium, shortly after kick-off in the Champions League game between FC Basel and Gazprom sponsored, FC Schalke 04. Greenpeace demands that Gazprom (the Russian state-owned company and Champions League sponsor) cease their high-risk oil exploration in the Arctic. The protestors also repeated demands for the release of the 28 Greenpeace International activists, as well as a freelance photographer and a freelance videographer currently in custody pending investigations into a peaceful Arctic oil protest.


22.10
- In a letter from her cell in Murmansk, Russia, Faiza Oulahsen writes about her experiences from entering the Greenpeace icebreaker Arctic Sunrise until a few days ago when she along with 29 others lost their freedom to the Russian security forces.

^ Top

Week 3 (Oct 02 - Oct 08)

October 02, 2013

09.50 - Crew member Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel from Brazil and freelance videographer Kieron Bryan from UK are charged with piracy.

10.50 - Russian activist Roman Dolgov, Finnish activist Sini Saarela, and Swedish/American activist Dima Litvinov are officially charged with piracy.

Responding to the news, Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said: "A charge of piracy is being laid against men and women whose only crime is to be possessed of a conscience. This is an outrage and represents nothing less than an assault on the very principle of peaceful protest. Any claim that these activists are pirates is as absurd as it is abominable. It is utterly irrational, it is designed to intimidate and silence us, but we will not be cowed."

Russian Security Services Seize Arctic Sunrise. 09/19/2013 © Greenpeace

Photos: http://photo.greenpeace.org/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox_VPage&ALID=27MZIFVD4JEW&CT=Album

11.20 - Greenpeace activists in Germany chained themself to a Gazprom gas pump at a petrol station in Berlin at the same time the activists and journalists of the Arctic Sunrise, which had peacefully protested at a Gazprom oil platform, were formally charged with piracy.

14.00 - UK activist Anthony Perrett and a Ukranian crew member have been officially charged with piracy.

14.30 - Argentinian activist Camila Speziale, Dutch activist Faiza Oulahsen, Dutch crew member Mannes Ubels, Polish activist Tomasz Dziemianczuk, and a Russian crew member are officially charged with piracy.

14.50 - UK activists Alexandra Harris and Philip Ball are officially charged with piracy.

October 03, 2013

09.00 - All 16 detainees who did not receive indictment yesterday appear to have been taken to the Investigative Committee.

10.00 - Crew member Anne Mie Roer Jensen from Denmark is officially charged with piracy.

11.00 - Crew member Jonathan Beauchamp from New Zealand is officially charged with piracy.

12.00 - Freelance photographer Denis Sinyakov from Russia is officially charged with piracy.

14.15 - Crew members Colin Russell from Australia and Andrey Allakhverdov from Russia are officially charged with piracy.

14.30 - Crew members Miguel Hernan Perez Orzi from Argentina, Francesco Pisanu from France, Alexandre Paul from Canada, David John Haussmann from New Zealand, and Cristian D'Alessandro from Italy are officially charged with piracy.

15.10 - All 30 appeals against the refusal of setting bail for activists and crew has now been filed. We still do not know when the appeal cases will be held but we dont expect them to happen this week.

16.00 - Captain Peter Willcox from the US, Crew member Paul D. Ruzycki from Canada, Crew member Iain Rogers from UK, Activist Frank Hewetson from UK, Activist Marco Weber from Switzerland, and Crew member Gizem Akhan from Turkey are all officially charged with piracy.

18.00 - A further 15 Greenpeace International activists and a Russian freelance photographer were today charged with piracy in Murmansk. This means that all 28 activists from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, as well as two freelancers, now face the charge. If convicted, the offence carries a maximum 15 year jail term.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Greenpeace International have now lodged formal appeals in the Murmansk Lenin district court against the continued detention of the Arctic 30.

Greenpeace International is taking its efforts to highlight the case, free the activists and protect the Arctic to a global level. On Saturday, 5th October tens of thousands of people will take part in an emergency global day of solidarity. Peaceful events are planned in more than 80 cities in 45 countries across the world.

October 04, 2013

14.40 - The Dutch government today announced that it would initiate arbitration proceedings against Russia under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea to secure the release of 28 Greenpeace International activists, plus a freelance photographer and a freelance videographer, currently being detained in Russia on piracy charges.

In response, Greenpeace International’s General Counsel Jasper Teulings said:

"Greenpeace International applauds the Dutch government decision as flag state of the Arctic Sunrise in taking the necessary legal steps to gain the release of the Arctic Sunrise and the Arctic 30, who are being unjustly held. The Netherlands is taking a strong stance in support of the rule of law and the right to peacefully protest. Russian officials will now be called to explain their actions before an international court of law, where it will be unable to justify these absurd piracy allegations."

17.40 - Executive Director Kumi Naidoo broadcast a live conversation about the Arctic 30 and the future of the Arctic on Google Hangout. If you missed it, you can watch it here: http://bit.ly/1dZofVb

21.00 - 1,000,000 #SavetheArctic30 letters of support have been sent to Russian embassies around the world.

October 05, 2013

A global Emergency Day of Solidarity to free the Arctic 30 (#freethearctic30). Thousands of people engaging in 220 solidarity events in 48 countries.

You can view the slideshow of events across the globe here.

October 07, 2013

Greenpeace International reveals that it intends to file a criminal complaint with the police over the illegal seizure of its ship the Arctic Sunrise. The lawyers of the 30 detainees are filing complaints over the violations of the rights of the 30 detainees to the relevant authorities.

12.00 - A Greenpeace press conference is held in Murmansk to discuss the detention conditions and legal status of the Arctic 30. It can be viewed here.

14.30 - A video from the interrogation of Captain Peter Willcox by the Investigative Committee on the Arctic Sunrise on Friday September 28 is released.

October 08, 2013

13.01 - The appeal to release crew member Ekaterina Zaspa on bail refused by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

14.09 - 18 pages of signatures of Russian journalists requesting the immediate release of Denis Sinyakov handed to the judge.

14.30 - The appeal to release freelance photographer Denis Sinyakov on bail refused by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

16.15 - The appeal to release activist Andrey Allakhverdov on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

16.30 - Greenpeace International Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo, reacts to Greenpeace International activists and a freelance photographer being denied bail by the the Regional Court of Murmansk.

^ Top

Week 4 (Oct 09 - Oct 15)

October 09, 2013

08.00 - Executive Director of Greenpeace International Kumi Naidoo writes a letter to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. In the letter, delivered to the Russian embassy in The Hague, Naidoo writes:

"I would offer myself as a guarantor for the good conduct of the Greenpeace activists, were they to be released on bail" and offers to "move [his] life to Russia for the duration of this affair."

A soundbite of Kumi Naidoo explaining his letter can be found here.

08.30 - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff orders her top diplomat to probe Russia over the fate of Brazilian Greenpeace activist Ana Paula Maciel. President Dilma said the Foreign Ministry was determined to provide "any assistance" to Ana Paula Maciel.

"I asked Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo to make high-level contact with the Russian government to find a solution for Ana Paula," Rousseff wrote on Twitter.

10.00 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Roman Dolgov on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

15.00 - Greenpeace International responds to allegations made by the Russian Investigative Committee that narcotics were found on board the Arctic Sunrise:

“Before leaving Norway for the Russian Arctic, the ship was searched with a sniffer dog by the Norwegian authorities, as is standard. The laws in Norway are amongst the strictest in the world, and nothing was found because nothing illegal was on the ship. “

17.00 - Greenpeace International responds to claims by Russia's Investigative Committee that the Arctic 30 activists endangered the safety of Russian security officers by ramming their dinghy:

"Greenpeace International has today published a slow motion video of an incident in which a Greenpeace boat comes to assist another one being harassed by armed security forces."

October 11, 2013

09.20 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Phil Ball on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

10.00 - Protests are held outside of the Albertina Museum in Vienna where an exhibition of the Gazprom Collection is being shown.

Gazprom Protest Outside the Albertina Museum in Vienna.

10.20 - The appeal to release freelance videographer Kieron Bryan on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

You can view the video here.

13.00 - Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo comments on the latest developments in Murmansk:

"Those 30 brave men and women are in jail on trumped up charges, they are prisoners of conscience. They are there not because of what they did but because of what they represent. They are there not because of Russian law but because they made a stand against vested interests. Greenpeace does not think it is above the law, but those campaigners are not pirates, even President Putin says so, and every day they remain behind bars is an affront to the basic principles of justice."

13.47 - President Putin’s human rights advisor urges prosecutors to drop the piracy charges:

"These charges are laughable because there isn't the slightest justification for accusing the crew of the Arctic Sunrise of piracy," Mikhail Fedotov said in an interview in Moscow.

October 13, 2013

Alexandra Harris writes a letter to her family from her cell in Murmansk:

"I'm worried about what's going to happen. I have moments of feeling panicky, but then I try to tell myself that there's nothing I can do from in here and what will be will be so it's pointless worrying. But it's hard. Surely my future isn't rotting in prison in Murmansk?! Well, I really hope it isn't."

06.00 - Greenpeace activists from Italy and Eastern Europe protest at the Barcolana Autumn Cup Regatta in Trieste against the competition's main sponsor, Gazprom.

Gazprom Protest At Barcolana Regatta in Italy.

14.30 - Greenpeace International Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo, holds a press conference about the Arctic 30 in Reykjavik, Iceland as part of the Arctic Circle Conference:

"I put it to this conference that ... the two journalists and 28 activists that are imprisoned in Murmansk were acting in the best interests of all of humanity, and I wanted to ask this conference to agree with President Putin and myself when we say that these activists are not pirates, that they were acting in the public interest, and that they should be released immediately."

October 14, 2013

13.45 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Camila Speziale on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

15.00 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Pete Willcox on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

15.30 - Greenpeace International responds to the refusal of bail of Arctic Sunrise captain Peter Willcox and one other activist.

Commenting on the latest developments Peter Willcox's wife, Maggy Willcox, said:

"Most people try to do at least something for the greater good, sometimes occasionally, sometimes for sustained periods. Rarely do people devote their entire life trying to make the world a better place. Peter is one of those rare people. He is a hero not a pirate. I appeal to the common sense and conscience of the Russian authorities to let my husband and the rest of the people from the Arctic Sunrise come home."

16.30 - The appeal to release New Zealand crew member John David Haussmann on bail is rejected.

October 15, 2013

09.00 - The Maritime Union of Australia releases a statement that the Russian Coast Guard illegally boarded the Arctic Sunrise:

"MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said the piracy charge was ludicrous and urged national council to unanimously support a resolution of support for the wrongfully detained activists."

09.20 - Two unions of merchant seafarers in several countries publically call for the release of the Arctic 30:

"Peaceful protests and piracy are two very different things. We have a problem when the officers and crew are charged with piracy as some kind of political expedient." says Don Marcus of the Linthicum Heights, US-based International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P).

11.00 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Marco Weber on bail is delayed 6 days by the Regional Court of Murmansk due to a German translator not being available.

12.00 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Frank Hewetson on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

12.48 - Greenpeace International responds to the refusal of bail for Greenpeace activist Frank Hewetson.

Nina Gold, wife of detainee Frank Hewetson, said:

"Frank has now spent three weeks locked up thousands of miles away from his family. He is accused of an absurd crime which clearly none of the Arctic 30 are guilty of committing. The only thing he is guilty of is participating in an entirely peaceful protest to raise awareness of a cause that he passionately believes in - protecting the planet and the fragile wilderness of the Arctic. He has two teenage children back home who miss him terribly, and not knowing when we’ll be able to see him again is agony."

14.30 - Greenpeace International Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo, speaks to Finnish media about Finland’s role in the Arctic and the illegal arrest of the Arctic 30:

"We will not be intimidated by excessive, disproportionate use of force by governments."

15.30 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Cristian D'Alessandro on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

^ Top

Week 5 (Oct 16 - Oct 22)

October 16, 2013

08.30 - Archbishop Desmond Tutu "adds his voice to the global choir" calling for the release of the Arctic 30.

09.30 - Greenpeace activist Gizem Akhan's bail hearing postponed till 14:00 local time, as authorities brought the wrong person to court.

14.36 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Jon Beauchamp on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

14.40 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Gizem Akhan on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

15.00 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Anthony Perrett on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

15.20 - An open letter by Gizem's Mother, Tülay Akhan, is part of a larger plea by the Madres de Plaza de Mayo (The Mothers of the Disappeared) for the release of her daughter and the Arctic 30.

16.00 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Franceso Pisanu on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

October 17, 2013

08.30 - A joint letter by 11 Nobel Peace Prize laureates to Russian President Vladimir Putin offering their support to the Arctic 30 is made public.

11.00 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Mannes Ubels on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk. Video

11.30 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Colin Russell on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk. Video

13.00 - Daniel Beltrá, second place winner of Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year by the Natural History Museum in London, dedicates his award to theArctic 30.

14.45 - Greenpeace International activist Miguel Hernan Perez Orsi's bail hearing is postponed until next week due to the lack of a Spanish translator.

October 18, 2013

More than 100 events are held in 36 countries involving nearly 10,000 people across the globe to show their solidarity with the Arctic 30 and to defend the right to peaceful protest. View the slideshow and the video.

11.00 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Alexandre Paul on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk. Video

12.00 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Alexandra Harris on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk. Video

13.00 - CCTV Footage of six masked men breaking into the grounds of the Greenpeace office in Murmansk is released.

15.30 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Faiza Oulahsen on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

15.45 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Anne Mie Roer Jensen on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

17.15 - 1,500,000 #SavetheArctic30 letters of support are sent to Russian embassies around the world.

October 21, 2013

12.00 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Sini Saarela on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk. Video

13.45 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Marco Weber on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk.

14.30 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Tomasz Dziemianczuk on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk. Video

Tomasz Dziemianczuk Bail Hearing At Murmansk Court. 10/21/2013 © Dmitri Sharomov / Greenpeace

16.00 - The Dutch Government asks the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to order Russia to release the Arctic 30 and the Arctic Sunrise. The Tribunal published the Dutch application, including a statement of facts from Greenpeace International.

October 22, 2013

08.00 - The appeal to release Greenpeace International activist Iain Christopher Rogers on bail is rejected by the Regional Court of Murmansk. Video

10.00 - The Mayor of Gdansk, Poland, Pawel Adamowicz, launched an international appeal for the Greenpeace activists. In a statement sent to the mayors and presidents of cities from which the activists come, the Mayor called for a joint signing of a letter to the authorities of the Russian Federation that "showed an understanding for people who often risk their health and their freedom to protect the environment." Adamowicz wrote the statement in view of the fact that one of the activists Tomasz Dziemianczuk is a resident of Gdansk.

^ Top

Week 6 (Oct 23 - Oct 29)

October 23, 2013

10.30 - The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it will not accept an international arbitration process at which the Netherlands is seeking the release of the Greenpeace International ship Arctic Sunrise and its crew.

It also said it plans not to attend the hearing at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). The Ministry did, however, say today that "at the same time Russia remains open to settling the situation".

Greenpeace International Legal Counsel, Daniel Simons said:
"It seems the Russian authorities don't welcome the prospect of the lawfulness of their actions being assessed by an independent tribunal."

14.15 - The Regional Court of Murmansk rejects the appeal to release Miguel Hernan Perez Orsi of Argentina on bail. Video

Miguel Hernan Orsi Bail Hearing At Murmansk Court. 10/23/2013 © Dmitri Sharomov / Greenpeace

14.45 - The Regional Court of Murmansk rejects the appeal to release Dimitri Litvinov (SE/US) on bail. Video

19.00 - The European Union adds its weight to the growing number of voices from around the world who have expressed concern over the fate of twenty-eight Greenpeace International activists and two freelance journalists who are being detained in Russia on serious charges.

European commissioner Janez Potočnik, said:
"While our immediate preoccupation is the continuing detention and the manifestly disproportionate charges brought against those detained, we should not lose from sight the issue that they were attracting attention to. It is one that we should all take very seriously - how to ensure that economic activities in the Arctic do not endanger the region's fragile environment."

19.20 - Greenpeace International responds to reports that piracy charges against the Arctic 30 alleged by the Investigative Committee are to be dropped and replaced with charges of hooliganism.

Vladimir Chuprov of Greenpeace Russia said:
"We will contest the trumped up charge of hooliganism as strongly as we contested the piracy allegations. They are both fantasy charges that bear no relation to reality. The Arctic 30 protested peacefully against Gazprom's dangerous oil drilling and should be free."

October 24, 2013

10.35 - The European Parliament releases a statement saying that the charges against the Arctic 30, while they may be switched to hooliganism, are still disproportionate. MEPs stressed the charges could be seen as threats to democracy, freedom of expression and freedom of demonstration.

10.40 - The appeal to release Canadian crew member Paul D. Ruzycki on bail was rejected by the Murmansk Regional Court. Video

Paul D. Ruzycki Bail Hearing At Murmansk Court. 10/24/2013 © Dmitri Sharomov / Greenpeace

12.25 - The appeal to release Brazilian crew member Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel on bail was rejected by the Murmansk Regional Court. Video

13.10 - The Regional Court of Murmansk has rejected the appeal to release
Ruslan Yakushev from Ukraine on bail. Video

17:20 - Russian authorities formally charged a Greenpeace International activist with hooliganism, a crime that carries a maximum seven year jail term and has been described by the European Parliament as a threat to freedom of expression and demonstration.

Andrey Allakhverdov of Russia was charged with hooliganism under article 213, part 2 of the Russian Criminal Code. Russian authorities have also started charging other members of the Arctic 30, who include 28 Greenpeace International activists plus a freelance videographer and a freelance photographer, with hooliganism.

In response, Ben Ayliffe at Greenpeace International said:
"The Arctic 30 are innocent of all charges. There can be no justification for locking them up in a cell in Murmansk. This was an entirely peaceful protest in international waters to shine a light on Gazprom's reckless Arctic oil drilling plans. Eleven warning shots were fired across the Arctic Sunrise, bullets were fired into the water next to the protesters, they were threatened with guns and knives and detained on trumped up charges to defend Gazprom’s oil interests. Who are the real hooligans here?”

18.00 - Greenpeace International activist Camila Speziale has been presented with hooliganism charges by Russia's Investigative Committee.

October 25, 2013

17.00 - The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), based in the German city of Hamburg, says that a public hearing on the Arctic Sunrise case will be held on Nov. 6th at 10:00 CET. A ruling is expected a few weeks later.

18.00 - Greenpeace International activists Gizem Akhan and Ekaterina Zaspa have been presented with hooliganism charges by Russia's Investigative Committee.

October 26, 2013

09.00 - Greenpeace activists stage a two-hour protest in a tent suspended from the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. From here, they sent a direct message to the French Prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who will meet the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Prime minister Dmitri Medvedev on Wednesday, Oct 30th.

The activists call on the French government to put the release of the Arctic 30 on top of the meeting's agenda and to go beyond consular assistance to Francesco Pisanu, the French crew member, by taking a public stand in support of the release of the Arctic 30, like Germany has done. Video

October 28, 2013

18.00 - UK freelance videographer Kieron Bryan and Greenpeace International activists Philip Ball, Iain Rogers, Ruslan Yakushev, Frank Hewetson, Pete Willcox, Alexandra Harris, and Miguel Hernan Perez Orsi have been presented with hooliganism charges by Russia's Investigative Committee.

19.15 - UK Prime minister, David Cameron, says he's prepared to go to Russian president Vladimir Putin directly if it would help six Britons detained after Greenpeace protest.

October 29, 2013

12.00 - Russian Federation Council member Vadim Tyulpanov appeals to the Prosecutor General's Office to consider releasing the Russian photographer who was arrested during last month's Greenpeace protest in the Arctic, saying the journalist shouldn't be in jail for doing his job.

Tyulpanov wrote in a letter to Prosecutor General Yury Chaika:
"By means of their profession, journalists are required to be in the thick of events.”
”It is this kind of dedication that allows us to receive timely information from all parts of the world."

13.40 - Russian freelance photographer Denis Sinyakov and Greenpeace International activist Anthony Perrett have been presented with hooliganism charges by Russia's Investigative Committee.

17.30 - Dima Litvinov has been presented with hooliganism charges by Russia's Investigative Committee.

^ Top

Week 7 (Oct 30 - Nov 05)

October 30, 2013

10.30 - David Haussmann of New Zealand and Colin Russell of Australia have been presented with hooliganism charges by Russia's Investigative Committee.

15.30 - Cristian D'Alessandro of Italy has been presented with hooliganism charges by Russia's Investigative Committee.

17.00 - Tomasz Dziemianczuk of Poland has been charged with hooliganism by Russia's Investigative Committee.

18.15 - Alexandra Harris of UK and Sini Saarela of Finland have been charged with hooliganism by Russia's Investigative Committee.

17.54 - Greenpeace International submits an Amicus Curiae brief in support of the Dutch ITLOS request.

20.30 - Activist Marco Weber of Switzerland has been charged with hooliganism by Russia's Investigative Committee.

October 31, 2013

12.30 - Representatives from Gazprom's Science and Research Institute of Economics and Management for the Gas Industry were in Copenhagen to give a presentation on how to manage oil drillings safely. Four Danish activists unfurled a huge banner at the floor-to-ceiling window of the meeting room to show the real picture of Gazprom's environmental destruction in Russia.

14.15 - Russia's Investigative Committee has charged Jonathan Beauchamp of New Zealand, Francesco Pisanu of France, and Canadian Paul Ruzycki with hooliganism.

14.45 - Faiza Oulahsen of The Netherlands has been presented with hooliganism charges by Russia's Investigative Committee.

16.30 - Russia's Investigative Committee presents Anne Mie Roer Jensen of Denmark and Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel with hooliganism charges.

All of the Arctic 30 have now been presented with hooliganism charges.

17.00 - Greenpeace International releases a video which takes a look at the efforts of the ground team in Murmansk. Volunteers and Greenpeace staff provide legal support, put together personalised care and deliver communications work to help those behind bars.

November 01, 2013

10.30 - Prosecuting authorities in Russia were under fire today after it was revealed that they have failed to lift charges of piracy against the Arctic 30, despite pledging to do so.

16.00 - According to diplomatic sources, the thirty men and women detained by Russia following a peaceful protest against an Arctic oil platform are being moved from a detention centre in Murmansk to a jail in St Petersburg.

Lawyers for Greenpeace are not aware of the reasons for the move. Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said:
"The detainees shouldn't be in jail at all. They should be free to join their families and restart their lives. St Petersburg has some daylight in the winter months, unlike Murmansk. Families and consular officials will now find it easier to visit the thirty. But there is no guarantee that conditions inside the new detention centre will be any better than in Murmansk. In fact, they could be worse. There is no justification whatsoever to keep the Arctic 30 in any prison for a day longer. They are prisoners of conscience who acted out of a determination to protect us all, and they should be free."

November 05, 2013

18:25 - Regarding the upcoming hearing at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), where the Netherlands is bringing a case seeking the release of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise and its crew, Greenpeace International General Counsel Jasper Teulings said:
"We appreciate the Dutch government bringing this case and thank the Tribunal for considering it. We understand that the job of the Tribunal is limited to deciding questions which cannot wait until full arbitration - only in arbitration will the issues be decided on the merits."

The ITLOS hearing is scheduled to start at 10am CET on November 6 2013.

^ Top

Week 8 (Nov 05 - Nov 12)

November 06, 2013

09:30 - The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) is now in session. The public hearing on the Arctic Sunrise case is being broadcast live on the Tribunal website.

14.20 - Following a hearing at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), where the Netherlands brought a case seeking the release of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise and its crew, Greenpeace International General Counsel Jasper Teulings said:
"The Dutch government argued its case extremely strongly. The Netherlands is taking a strong stance in support of the rule of law and the right to peacefully protest. Greenpeace International applauds the Dutch decision as flag state of the Arctic Sunrise in taking the necessary legal steps to gain the release of the ship and the Arctic 30.

"Greenpeace International is confident that the Tribunal will take appropriate account of the fundamental rights of the Arctic 30, and the impact of their detention on those rights, in reaching its eventual decision."

November 07, 2013

14.00 - A full transcript of the public sitting of the Arctic Sunrise case (Kingdom of the Netherlands v. Russian Federation), held on November 6th, 2013 at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) is available here.

November 08, 2013

15.00 - Greenpeace International today released previously unseen footage taken during the boarding and seizure of the ship Arctic Sunrise by armed Russian security officers following a peaceful Arctic oil protest.

The footage shows Russian security agents descending onto the ship from a helicopter by rope on September 19. It also shows how those on board surrendered peacefully to the armed security officers with their arms raised.

"As you can see on the video, the Greenpeace International crew are clearly displaying non-resistance. They are doing their utmost to signal their peaceful intention and the best way to do that is to show yourself in full, with raised arms. They are not the actions of hooligans or pirates, as the authorities allege," said Vladimir Chuprov, Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace Russia.

In other developments, Greenpeace Russia welcomes the appeal from the Presidential Human Rights Council to the Head of the Federal Investigative Committee regarding the continuing detention of the Arctic 30, announced today by Head of the Council Mikhail Fedotov.

November 10 2013

13.00 - Today more than 75 laureates of the the Right Livelihood Award – often called the "Alternative Nobel Prize" – and members of the World Future Council called upon the Russian authorities to immediately release the 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists arrested for their peaceful protest against oil drilling in the Arctic.

The signatories from more than 30 countries "applaud the sober minded and non-violent protests against Gazprom's oil drilling in the Arctic, which poses a dangerous threat to the fragile Arctic environment and the global climate".

To read the full text of the statement and to see the list of signatories please click here.

November 11, 2013

08.00 - The transport of the Arctic 30 away from Murmansk started at around 5:00am local time today. Greenpeace International understands the move is taking place by prisoner train. Lawyers for the thirty who tried to visit them in Murmansk this morning were told by officials at the detention centre that all thirty were already being transported.

Ben Ayliffe, Greenpeace International Arctic campaigner, commented: “We don’t yet know if the relocation of these wrongfully accused people will see an improvement in terms of their detention conditions and basic human rights. We are doing everything in our power to ensure that the Arctic 30 are transported in a humane way.”

November 12, 2013

11.30 - The train carrying the Arctic 30 arrived at St Petersburg’s Ladozhsky Railway Station (Ладожский) just after noon local time. The Arctic 30 departed from Murmansk in a prison wagon early on Monday and upon arrival in St Petersburg the wagon was detached and moved 1km away from the station. The authorities moved the detainees to transportation buses, surrounded by many police.

It is not yet certain which SIZO (detention centre) in St Petersburg they are being taken to or whether the new facility will represent an improvement on conditions compared with their detention in Murmansk. The 28 Greenpeace International activists and two freelance journalists may also be spread out over different locations across St Petersburg.

A team of lawyers to represent the Arctic 30 has already arrived in St. Petersburg, together with support staff.

The Arctic 30 Arrive In St Petersburg. 11/12/2013 © GreenpeacePress await the arrival of the Arctic 30 into St. Petersburg Ladozhskiy Station.  ©Greenpeace 

18.30 - St Petersburg Prison Service confirms arrival of the Arctic 30 in city detention centers: 

Peter Willcox, Dima Litvinov, Andrey Allakhverdov, Frank Hewetson, Jonathan D. Beauchamp, Cristian D'Alessandro and Philip Edward Ball have been moved to SIZO 1 in St Petersburg.

Kieron Bryan, Paul D. Ruzycki, Colin Keith Russel and David John Haussmann have been moved to SIZO 4 in St Petersburg.

Alexandra Hazel Harris, Anne Mie Roer Jensen, Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel and Sini Saarela have been moved to SIZO 5 in St Petersburg.

^ Top

Week 9 (Nov 13 - Nov 19)

November 13, 2013

10.00 - Iain Rogers, Francesco Pisanu and Marco Weber have been moved to SIZO 1 in St Petersburg.

Gizem Akhan has been moved to SIZO 5 in St Petersburg.


12.30
- Tomasz Dziemianczuk has been moved to SIZO 1 in St Petersburg.

Miguel Hernan Perez Orsi has been moved to SIZO 4 in St Petersburg.

Camila Speziale has been moved to SIZO 5 in St Petersburg.

13.30 - Mannes Ubels has been moved to SIZO 4 in St Petersburg.

Faiza Oulahsen has been moved to SIZO 5 in St Petersburg.

15.00 - Anthony Perrett has been moved to SIZO 1 in St Petersburg.

Ruslan Yakushev has been moved to SIZO 4 in St Petersburg.

17.00 - Roman Dolgov and Denis Sinyakov have been moved to SIZO 1 in St Petersburg.

Alexandre Paul has been moved to SIZO 4 in St Petersburg.

Ekaterina Zaspa has been moved to SIZO 5 in St Petersburg.

November 15, 2013

14.25 - Russia's Investigative Committee announced that it will apply for a three-month extension to the detention of the Arctic 30. They will make the applications in front of a judge at hearings next week.

Applications to keep the thirty in jail have only been filed for some of them — so far six extension requests have been filed today with the Kalininskiy District Court, with more possible later today and a further nine expected to follow on Monday.

Greenpeace lawyers have been told the Investigative Committee is applying to keep the detainees in prison for a further three months while they investigate their alleged crimes. The Committee needs to apply to a court to have its application upheld. If it is not upheld by a judge, the 30 will be released.

November 16, 2013

Thousands of people are today taking part in peaceful protests in 263 cities in 43 countries to express their solidarity with the 30 people who were detained on a Greenpeace International ship by armed Russian security forces and imprisoned.

Next week will mark two months since the 30 were detained following a peaceful protest against Arctic drilling at a Gazprom oil platform in the Pechora Sea on September 18.

A map showing the global activities is here.

The 'Two Months of Injustice' Global Day of Solidarity photo set can be seen here.

November 18, 2013

09.00 - Hearing on prolongment of pre-trial detention has started in Kalininsky District Court for Ekatarina Zaspa, Colin Russell and Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel.

11.30 - The court in St Petersburg has ruled that Australian Colin Russell must remain in jail until February 24 while the investigation continues. A request for bail or house arrest was denied.

Watch Colin deliver a powerful speech to media during his detention hearing at Primorskiy Court in St. Petersburg.

Colin Russell Dentention Hearing In St. Petersburg. 11/18/2013 © Dmitri Sharomov / Greenpeace

14.45 - Russian Ekaterina Zaspa to be released on bail says court in St Petersburg.

15.50 - The prosecutor in Ekaterina Zaspa's hearing did not oppose bail and the judge agreed. In the same city on the same day in hearings relating to the same peaceful protest, a different prosecutor and a different judge ruled that Colin Russell from Australia should be jailed for a further three months.

Lawyers for the detainees will now appeal decisions to extend detention, and will apply for bail for all detainees whose detention is extended.

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.

Activists in court today are Ana Paula Maciel (Brazil); Colin Russell (Australia); David John Haussmann (New Zealand); Ekaterina Zaspa (Russia); and Andrey Allakhverdov (Russia). Freelance journalists Kieron Bryan (UK) and Denis Sinyakov (Russia) are also appearing in court.

19.00 - Russian freelance photographer Denis Sinyakov is to be released on bail says court in St Petersburg. He is the second of the Arctic 30 to be free on bail.

21.00 - Russian Andrey Allakhverdov is to be released on bail says court in St Petersburg. He is the third of the Arctic 30 to be free on bail.

November 19, 2013

10.30 - Brazilian Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel is to be released on bail says court in St Petersburg. She is the first non-Russian to be set free on bail.

11.30 - David John Haussmann of New Zealand is to be released on bail says court in St Petersburg.

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."

11.50 - Argentinian Miguel Hernan Perez Orsi is to be released on bail says court in St Petersburg.

12.45 - Tomasz Dziemianczuk of Poland is to be released on bail says court in St Petersburg.

13.45 - Camila Speziale of Argentina is to be released on bail says court in St Petersburg.

14.15 - Canadian Paul Ruzycki is to be released on bail says court in St Petersburg.

14.30 - The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) will deliver its Order in The "Arctic Sunrise" Case (Kingdom of the Netherlands v. Russian Federation) on Friday 22 November 2013. Judge Shunji Yanai, President of the Tribunal, will read the Order at a public sitting which will be held at 15.00CET

14.45 - Cristian D'Alessandro of Italy is to be released on bail says court in St Petersburg.

16.30 - Sini Saarela of Finland and Francesco Pisanu of France are to be released on bail says court in St Petersburg.

^ Top

Week 10 (Nov 20 - Nov 26)

November 20, 2013

11.30 - Faiza Oulahsen of The Netherlands has been granted bail in Primorskiy District Court.

12.00 - Alexandra Harris of the UK has been granted bail in Primorsky District Court.

12.30 - 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.

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.

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.

12.32 - American Captain Peter Willcox has been granted bail in Kalininsky District Court.

13.45 - Mannes Ubels of The Netherlands and Kieron Bryan from the UK have been granted bail in Primorsky District Court.

15.40 - Anne Mie Roer Jensen of Denmark has been granted bail in Primorsky District Court.

16.40 - Anthony Perrett of the UK has been granted bail in Kalininsky District Court.

17.20 - Greenpeace International activist Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel of Brazil has today been released from detention, the first of the Arctic 30 to leave prison following the granting of bail by a St Petersburg court.

The Primorsky court in St Petersburg granted bail to Ana Paula, a biologist, on Tuesday pending the payment of 2 million ruble bail. She has now left the detention centre, but the conditions of her bail are not yet fully known.

Watch video of her release here.

18.40 - Marco Weber of Switzerland has been granted bail in Kalininsky District Court.

November 21, 2013

08.40 - Andrey Allakhverdov and Denis Sinyakov both of Russia have been released on bail from the detention centre in St. Petersburg. 

Watch the moment they were reunited with their families here.

09.15 - Jonathan Beauchamp of New Zealand has been granted bail in Kalininsky District Court.

09.45 - Ekaterina Zaspa of Russia has been released on bail from the detention centre in St. Petersburg.

10.15 - Ruslan Yakushev of the Ukraine has been granted bail in Primorsky District Court.

11.20 - Canadian Alexandre Paul has been granted bail in Primorsky District Court

11.45 - Iain Rogers and Frank Hewetson both of the UK have been granted bail in Kalininsky District Court

12.45 - David John Haussmann of New Zealand has been released on bail from detention centre in St. Petersburg.

12.55 - Gizen Akhan of Turkey has been granted bail in Primorsky District Court.

13.00 - Court hearings in St Petersburg now over for today. 26 of 30 now granted bail and 5 of those are out of jail.

14.00 - The Murmansk Regional Court has today rejected an appeal against the arrest of the ship Arctic Sunrise by Russian authorities.

"This is an extremely disappointing ruling. We believe this verdict is in violation of both the Russian Criminal Procedure Code and international law. Cassation procedures are now available under Russian law," said Gerrit-Jan Bolderman, Director of Stichting Phoenix, the ship’s owner.

Besides the possibility of a further appeal at a cassation court by Stichting Phoenix, the lawyer representing Peter Willcox, the captain of the Arctic Sunrise who was granted bail by a St Petersburg court on Wednesday, will in the coming days file a petition seeking the release of the ship.

14.45 - Francesco Pisanu of France has been released on bail from detention centre in St. Petersburg.

15.00 - Cristian D'Alessandro of Italy has been released on bail from detention centre in St. Petersburg.

15.15 - Sini Saarela of Finland and Anne Mie Roer Jensen of Denmark have been released on bail from the detention centre in St. Petersburg.

15.30 - Tomasz Dziemianczuk of Poland and Camila Speziale of Argentina have been released on bail from the detention centre in St. Petersburg.

November 22, 2013

09.15 - Anthony Perrett of the UK and Marco Weber from Switzerland have been released from the detention centre in St. Petersburg.

09.30 - Russian Roman Dolgov has been granted bail in Kalininsky District Court.

09.50 - American Captain Peter Willcox and Faiza Oulahsen from The Netherlands have been released from the detention centre in St. Petersburg.

11.00 - Kieron Bryan of the UK, Paul Ruzycki of Canada, and Mannes Ubels of The Netherlands have been released from the detention centre in St. Petersburg.

11.35 - Dima Litvinov has been granted bail in Kalininsky District Court.

12.10 - Miguel Hernan Perez Orzi of Argentina has been released from the detention centre in St. Petersburg.

13.25 - Iain Rogers and Frank Hewetson both of the UK and Jonathan Beauchamp of New Zealand have been released from the detention centre in St. Petersburg.

13.00
- Alexandra Harris of the UK has been been released from the detention centre in St. Petersburg.

13.30 - Philip Ball has been granted bail in Kalininsky District Court.

14.10 - Ruslan Yakushev of Ukraine has been been released from the detention centre in St. Petersburg.

14.25 - Gizem Akhan of Turkey and Canadian Alexandre Paul have been released from the detention centre in St. Petersburg.

15.45 - Roman Dolgov of Russia and Dimitri Litvinov of Sweden have been been released from the detention centre in St. Petersburg.

16.15 - The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) today ordered the Russian Federation in a binding ruling to release the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise and the 28 activists and two freelance journalists on board upon payment of a EUR 3.6 million bond.

Russia is now under an obligation to comply with the order: the Russian Constitution itself states that international law forms an integral part of the Russian legal system and Russian courts are under an obligation to implement the order. Greenpeace therefore expects Russia to respect UNCLOS and the Tribunal, as it has done in the past.

The complete text of the ruling can be found here.

November 25, 2013

11.15 - Phil Ball of the UK has been been released from the detention centre in St. Petersburg.

^ Top

Week 11 (Nov 27 - Dec 03)

November 28, 2013

11.08 - Australian activist Colin Russell has been granted bail by a St. Petersburg court, the last of the Arctic 30 detainees to be ordered released on bail. He has spent 71 days in detention.

November 29, 2013

13.00 - Colin Russell has been been released from the detention centre in St. Petersburg.

Colin Russell Released On Bail Greenpeace International activist Colin Russell (from Australia) is greeted by fellow Arctic 30 activist Camila Speziale after he is released on bail from the SIZO 4 detention centre in St. Petersburg. 11/29/2013 © Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace
Greenpeace International activist Colin Russell (from Australia) is greeted by fellow Arctic 30 activist Camila Speziale after he is released on bail from the SIZO 4 detention centre in St. Petersburg.

19.00 - The Dutch Foreign Ministry has finalised a bank guarantee of 3.6 million euros in compliance with a binding ruling by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ordering Russia to release the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise and the Arctic 30.

Jasper Teulings, General Counsel at Greenpeace International, said:
"The Netherlands has now fulfilled its part of the Tribunal's binding order and Russia is obligated to also comply by releasing the ship and the Arctic 30, as the Tribunal so ordered. The Tribunal has ordered both Russia and the Netherlands to report back on progress with their compliance by December 2. We at Greenpeace assume the Russian Federation will comply with the order.

"Greenpeace International will cover the costs associated with the issuing of the bank guarantee and will make sure that Dutch taxpayers are not affected by the Tribunal's order. Similarly, Greenpeace will compensate the Dutch government if the arbitral tribunal orders the Netherlands at a later date to pay reparations to Russia."

^ Top

Week 12 (Dec 04 - Dec 10)

December 04, 2013

14.00 - Lawyers for the Arctic 30 have started to lodge applications with the Investigative Committee seeking exit visas for the non-Russian nationals. If the applications are approved, the foreign nationals would be allowed to leave Russia to await the ongoing investigations into their peaceful Arctic oil protest.

All of the foreign nationals, 26 people from 17 nations, have had their passports returned to them after their release on bail from detention last month. However, they do not have the correct visa allowing them to leave Russia and are currently staying at a hotel in St Petersburg.

Separate applications for exit visas will need to be made for all of the non-Russian nationals in coming days and formally, the Investigative Committee must respond to the request within three days.

Arctic 30 Activists in St. Petersburg Group shot of 26 of the Arctic 30 (24 Greenpeace International activists and two freelance journalists) in St.Petersburg. The 'Arctic 30' (twenty-eight Greenpeace International activists, as well as a freelance photographer and a freelance videographer) face charges of piracy and hooliganism for a peaceful protest against oil drilling in the Arctic. Missing from the original 30 in the picture are:- Francesco Pisanu (France), Andrey Allakhverdov (Russia), Tomasz Dziemianczuk (Poland) and Ekaterina Zaspa (Russia). 12/03/2013 © Dmitri Sharomov / Greenpeace

^ Top

Week 13 (Dec 11 - Dec 17)

December 11, 2013

11.30 - Lawyers for Greenpeace International believe the draft text of a Russian amnesty to be voted on by the Duma (the Russian parliament) would be unlikely to benefit the Arctic 30.

In its present form, the proposal would apply only to people who have either been convicted of hooliganism, or people who are on trial and will be convicted within the six month period after the amnesty decree is adopted.

The Arctic 30 fall into neither category, but could be granted amnesty if the text is only slightly amended.

Greenpeace International lawyer Daniel Simons said:
“As it stands the amnesty text would not include the Arctic 30, but it very nearly does. The Duma would only have to make a relatively minor amendment to the text and include people charged with hooliganism whose trial has not yet been scheduled. Then the Arctic 30 could go home. Right now they still face the possibility of trial and conviction for a crime they didn’t commit, and prison sentences that could stretch to many years. The charges against them should of course be dropped, but if the Arctic 30 case can be brought to an end through the amnesty then that would be a welcome development for people who have already spent two months in jail for standing up for their beliefs."

December 13, 2013

10.00 - The Russian authorities have told the Arctic 30 that they cannot leave the country, defying the ruling of an international court which ordered that they should be allowed to go home immediately.

A ruling in November by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ordered Russia to allow the Arctic 30 to leave the country immediately and to release the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, as soon as a bond of 3.6m euros in the form of a bank guarantee was paid. That bond was posted by the Government of the Netherlands - where the Arctic Sunrise is registered - on 29th November. Russia is now in defiance of that order.

^ Top

Week 14 (Dec 18 - Dec 24)

December 18, 2013

09.50 - The Russian parliament voted for an amendment that extends an amnesty decree to defendants who have been charged with hooliganism. It therefore includes the Arctic 30 - the 28 activists and two freelance journalists who were arrested following a peaceful protest at a Gazprom-operated Arctic oil platform three months ago today.

There will be a final vote at 4pm Moscow time, but the only way the Arctic 30 would be removed from the amnesty is if the entire bill is rejected - an outcome regarded as extremely unlikely.

It is unclear when the non-Russians amongst the Arctic 30 will be able to leave the country. At present they do not have the correct stamps in their passports, having been brought to Russia by commandos after being illegally seized in international waters. By accepting the amnesty they will not be admitting guilt, but the legal proceedings against them will come to an end.

The fate of the Arctic Sunrise, currently impounded in Murmansk, remains uncertain, despite the order of an international court that it be released following a case brought by the Dutch government.

13:15 - The Russian parliament has today formally adopted an amnesty that will end legal proceedings against the Arctic 30.

December 24, 2013

15:15 - Anthony Perrett of the UK became the first Arctic 30 activist to have the criminal case against him dropped. He has requested an exit visa from the Federal Migration Service to allow him to leave Russia. The migration service told him it will contact him on Thursday, 26 December to collect his visa.

In reaction, Anthony said:
"It's time to go home, it’s time to get back to Wales, and I just got one big step closer. I took peaceful action to defend a fragile region under profound threat and instead I was seized by armed commandos at sea and spent two months in detention. This is not over yet. The Arctic is melting before our eyes and yet the oil companies are lining up to profit from its destruction. This is why I took action, to expose them and mobilise people to demand Arctic protection. I am proud of what I did."

^ Top

Week 15 (Dec 25 - Dec 30)

December 25, 2013

11:30 - The Investigative Committee is implementing the amnesty agreed by the Duma (Russian parliament) that effectively ends legal proceedings against the Arctic 30.

The final chapter in the legal ordeal of the Arctic 30 began as the group was asked to attend a meeting at Russia's Investigative Committee, where the criminal case against them is being dropped en masse.

They will then have one more hurdle – securing exit visas in their passports – before the non-Russians are free to leave the country and be reunited with their families. A meeting with the Federal Migration Service is scheduled for later today. The Arctic 30 are expected to leave Russia in the coming days.

December 26, 2013

10.35 - UK national Anthony Perrett was given a visa in his passport from the Federal Migration Service allowing him to leave Russia.  Anthony is the first of the Arctic 30 to have been given an exit visa.

17.30 - The Arctic 30 are leaving Russia. Swedish activist Dima Litvinov is on a train and heading for the border. He will enter Finland at 20:30 local time (17:30 GMT).

Fourteen of the Arctic 30 were given exit stamps in their passports today, the rest will be given their stamps tomorrow. The non-Russians will all leave the country in the coming days, many of them tomorrow.

December 27, 2013

09.00 - A plane carrying five Britons and a Canadian left St Petersburg airport, heading for Paris. On board are Anthony Perrett, Phil Ball, Iain Rogers, Alex Harris, Kieron Bryan and Canadian Alexandre Paul.

Also preparing to depart today are Miguel Hernan Perez Orsi of Argentina, Ruslan Yakushev of Ukraine, and American Peter Willcox.

17.25 - Five members of the Arctic 30 - Iain, Anthony, Kieron, Alex and Phil - have arrived safely back in the UK.

Five members of the Arctic 30 - Iain, Anthony, Kieron, Alex and Phil

18.30 - More members of the Arctic 30 arrive at the Saint Petersburg airport for their departure home: Mannes Ubels and Faiza Oulahsen of the Netherlands, together with Brazilian Ana Paula Maciel, Australian Colin Russell, and Gizem Akhan of Turkey.

19.15 - All but one of the 26 non-Russian members of the Arctic 30 have now left Russia and are on their way home.

Twenty-five of the 26 foreigners among the Arctic 30 have left Russia for home. The last activist will leave the country on Sunday.

December 29, 2013

13.50 - The 26th and final foreign member of the Arctic 30, activist and Polish national Tomasz Dziemianczuk, has left Russia.

Greenpeace International is calling on the Investigative Committee to facilitate the return of the ship and the personal belongings of the Arctic 30 now that the criminal prosecution against the Arctic 30 has been terminated.

Watch video of the Arctic 30 expressing their gratitude to all those around the world who have shown support for their cause.

December 30, 2013

In pictures: The Arctic 30 Return Home

^ Top

2014

March 03, 2014

Greenpeace International today filed a formal petition with the Russian Investigative Committee regarding the release of the ship Arctic Sunrise. The petition argues that with all charges against the Arctic 30 now dropped, the grounds on which the vessel was originally detained are no longer present. Greenpeace International is also requesting access to the Arctic Sunrise in order to evaluate the ship's maintenance needs. While some property has been returned to the Arctic 30, they have yet to receive all their personal belongings from the ship.

March 17, 2014

Greenpeace International launched a case at the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of the Arctic 30. The 30 individuals are requesting "just compensation" from the Russian Federation, and importantly, a statement from the independent Court saying that their apprehension in international waters by Russian agents and subsequent detention were unlawful.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the group say their abduction by armed Russian security agents in international waters and subsequent imprisonment for a peaceful protest breached two key provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights.

June 06, 2014

Russia's investigative committee (IC) informed Greenpeace International that it has annulled the arrest of the ship Arctic Sunrise, which has remained in custody in Murmansk since September 2013.

The investigative committee recently extended its investigation into the protest at the Prirazlomnaya platform by two months, until July 24th. However, lawyers acting for Greenpeace International were informed of the ship's release unexpectedly during a meeting in the port city of Murmansk this morning. The ship should now be able to leave Russia in the coming days.

August 01, 2014

More than 300 days after it was illegally boarded following a high profile peaceful protest against Arctic oil drilling, the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise has finally departed Murmansk, Russia en route for its home port of Amsterdam.

The Arctic Sunrise is expected to arrive in Amsterdam in early August, where Greenpeace activists and supporters, along with members of the Arctic 30, will welcome the ship, before it enters a shipyard for a thorough assessment of its condition and the necessary repairs. Russia's Investigative Committee recently told Greenpeace that it had extended its investigation into the Arctic 30 case until September 24th 2014, despite the fact that the criminal case against the 30 has been dropped.

August 09, 2014

The Arctic Sunrise sailed back into Dutch territorial waters after over 300 days in Russian custody. Several members of the Arctic 30 were there to greet the ship and boarded the vessel in Beverwijk, near Amsterdam.

August 18, 2014

It's been one year now since our peaceful action was intercepted by armed Russian FSB agents; nearly one year since we were unlawfully charged with piracy and sent to jail for more than two months. Not a day goes by that we don't think of the time we spent in jail in Murmansk and St. Petersburg, or about the fact that we did not see justice — we are free, yes, but we were granted amnesty for a crime we did not commit. But at least we are home with our families, which is more than we can say for the thousands of other activists around the world who continue to be persecuted or imprisoned for standing up for what they believe in. — Arctic 30

October 01, 2014

Russia's Investigative Committee (IC) ends their year-long investigation. The investigation continued for over eight months after the activists were released from prison under the terms of an official amnesty in December 2013.

Today

Complete with never-before-seen footage and behind-the-scenes access, Black Ice tells the story of the Arctic 30 from the moment they set sail to protest at the controversial Prirazlomnaya oil platform, to their arrest, imprisonment...and what happened next.

^ Top

Categories