Murmansk, 8 October 2013 - The Regional Court of Murmansk today rejected an application made by lawyers for two Greenpeace International activists and a freelance photographer that they be released on bail (1).
A further 27 cases requesting bail will be heard later this week. Twenty-eight Greenpeace International activists, including New Zealanders Jonathan Beauchamp and David Haussmann, plus a freelance photographer and a freelance videographer were seized by Russian special forces on the ship Arctic Sunrise in international waters 19 days ago. Their arrests followed a peaceful protest at the Gazprom Arctic oil platform Prirazlomnaya.
Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo said:
“There can be no justification for the continued detention of activists who did nothing more than express their beliefs through entirely peaceful means. They have been charged with a crime that did not happen, they are being held for something nobody thinks they actually did. They are now prisoners of conscience, and as such they are the responsibility of the world.
“We know why our friends remain in jail. We will not be intimidated. We will not stop peacefully challenging Gazprom's and other oil companies’ plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.”
The conditions in which the 30 crew, activists and freelancers have been detained during the last 19 days have on occasions violated the rights of the detainees. Their lawyers are filing complaints to the competent authorities.
“I am concerned about the conditions under which our friends are being held. At the very least they should be together at the same facility, they should be warm and they should have access to basic needs. I cannot express strongly enough the admiration I have for their families, who are bearing this strain with a dignity and determination that is inspiring to people across the world,” Naidoo added.
More than 1.1 million people have sent emails to their Russian embassies and consulates demanding the immediate release of the Arctic 30.
(1) The three people whose bail appeals were rejected are crew member Ekaterina Zaspa, activist Andrey Allakhverdov and freelance photographer Denis Sinyakov. All are Russian nationals. The full list of the Arctic 30 can be found here: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/arctic-impacts/Peace-Dove/Arctic-30/