Amsterdam, 22 November 2013 – British activist Anthony Perrett and Swiss national Marco Weber, Faiza Oulahsen from the Netherlands and American Peter Willcox were today released from Russian detention, bringing to 15 the number of Arctic 30 members freed on bail by St Petersburg courts.
A total of 26 people have been granted bail this week, while one activist Colin Russell had his request for bail denied. Three bail hearings are being heard today and 11 detainees were already released on Wednesday and Thursday.
Greenpeace International Arctic campaigner Ben Ayliffe said:
“These are wonderful moments for the families of the detainees released from prison. This will only be over when they are able to go home, but for now we are allowing ourselves a sigh of relief, all the time remembering that those brave men and women are still charged with a crime they didn’t commit. And of course our friend Colin was refused bail. This saga is far from over.”
“The released detainees slept well last night, though some of them stayed up late talking and talking, sharing experiences. They’ve been enjoying the taste of good food and the feel of thick mattresses, but they keep talking about Colin, asking when he’ll be out. And they don’t yet know if they can go back home or if they’ll have to stay in St Petersburg.”
Greenpeace International expects to pay bail for six more members of the Arctic 30 today, potentially resulting in the release of 26 detainees before the weekend. No releases are expected to happen over the weekend.
According to Russian media reports, the Russian migration service FMS has said that that the released foreign nationals will not be allowed to leave St Petersburg and will need to stay in Russia pending the criminal investigation (1).
Greenpeace International cannot confirm those reports until the bail conditions of all detainees are known. The non-Russians already released have had their passports returned to them and have a special registration card that will allow them to remain in Russia legally.
For now, the foreign nationals will stay at safe place in St Petersburg. There is still no clarity on when the Arctic 30 can leave Russia and finally be able to return home.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) will announce its ruling today 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.
Jasper Teulings, General Counsel at Greenpeace International:
“In lodging this lawsuit, the Dutch government took a strong stance in support of the rule of law and the right to peaceful protest and for that we are grateful. The Netherlands has argued that Russia had no right to board and detain the Arctic Sunrise and all on board and that all subsequent steps have been an ongoing and serious violation of the rights of the Netherlands as flag State. Greenpeace is confident that the Tribunal will take appropriate account of the fundamental rights of the Arctic 30 and we hope its provisional ruling will lead to their release.”
In the situation of Colin Russell, two appeals have been filed against his continued detention - one against the prolongment of detention the other on the rejection of bail. A hearing is expected early next week.
Today's hearings at Kalininsky court in local times: 10:00 Roman Dolgov, 12:00 Dima Litvinov, 13:00 Philip Ball.
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