Amsterdam, 9 October 2013 - In response to allegations made by the Russian Investigative Committee that narcotics were found on board the ship Arctic Sunrise and that more charges were being considered, Greenpeace International made the following statement.
We can only assume the Russian authorities are referring to the medical supplies that our ships are obliged to carry under maritime law.
The ship was first searched by Russian officers weeks ago, they scoured every corner of it, so we assume this announcement is designed to deflect attention from the growing global outrage over the continued imprisonment of the detainees. Any claim that illegal drugs were found is a smear, it’s a fabrication, pure and simple.
There is a strict policy against recreational drugs on board Greenpeace ships, and any claim that something other than medical supplies were found should be regarded with great suspicion. 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.
The Arctic Sunrise is sovereign Dutch territory, it was seized in international waters, and is therefore subject to Dutch law. It is illegal to sail a Dutch flagged ship without the right medical supplies.
The ship had on board a fully qualified doctor with over ten years experience in Russian hospitals. Certain medical supplies are kept in a safe that only the captain and the doctor have access to. We know that the safe was broken into by the Russian authorities during the searching of the ship. We can assume these are the medical supplies that the Russian security services are referring to.
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