On 30th day of imprisonment, events across the world to free the Arctic 30

Press release - October 18, 2013
18 October 2013, Manila, Philippines — As the Arctic 30 face their 30th day of imprisonment in a Russian jail, nearly 10,000 people are taking to the streets at 85 events in 36 cities to call for their immediate release.

This morning, Greenpeace activists and volunteers released 30 white doves for each of the detained Arctic 30 in front of Manila’s iconic Cultural Center of the Philippines. Last month, Greenpeace and their supporters sent a formal letter to the Russian Ambassador to the Philippines demanding for the release of the international activists.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia Regional Climate and Energy Campaigner Amalie Obusan said:

“The Arctic 30 are no different from us. They are everyday people who are loved and sorely missed by their family and friends all eager for news of their release. Greenpeace continues to be overwhelmed by the amount of support, messages and letters sent to us from all over the world, including concerned Filipinos who understand the meaning of solidarity, especially when there is injustice.”

Protests worldwide include:

►A protest in Tibet at the base of Mount Everest with activists from Greenpeace China.

►In Mexico City, protesters visit Mahatma Gandhi’s monument and build a prison cell around it.

►In the Netherlands, people erected a giant cage in the centre of Groningen, the hometown of one imprisoned activist and the sister city of Murmansk, Russia.

►In Bangkok, people gathered in Wat Phra Kaeo, one of the most iconic temples of Thailand, where volunteers shaped the words Free the Arctic 30 using flower bouquets.

►In Bangalore, people gathered in Freedom Park, where a prison once stood.

►In Germany, a 30 hour vigil is taking place with more than 100 people, on top of the solidarity vigil that has been ongoing in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin since September 19.

►A 24-hour sit-in vigil is happening in the central square Naples, Italy, the home city of one of the Arctic 30.

Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo said:

“It is now 30 days since our ship was seized and our 30 friends and colleagues were arrested. They now face a charge of piracy — an absurd charge that carries a maximum 15 year jail sentence.

“The Arctic 30 were standing up for all of us, defending a fragile environment and a climate in crisis, and now we must stand with them. Their detention is an attack against every single person who has ever been willing to raise their voice to demand a better future for themselves and their children. Now these 30 people are prisoners of conscience and we are all responsible for their fate.

“Greenpeace does not think it is above the law, but those 30 brave men and women are not pirates and this charge is a clear attempt to deter peaceful protest. We are here today to show our solidarity with the Arctic 30 and defend the right to peaceful protest. We call for their immediate release.”

Last month, 28 Greenpeace activists, and a freelance photographer and a videographer, were charged with piracy by a Russian court following a peaceful protest against Arctic oil drilling at a Gazprom oil platform in the Pechora Sea. If convicted, the offence carries a maximum 15 year jail term. The Murmansk Lenin District Court ordered that the ‘Arctic 30’ could be detained up until at least November 24th while allegations against them are investigated by the country’s authorities. Lawyers acting to defend the thirty have appealed against their detention.

A wide range of international figures from politics and civil society have now voiced concerns about the Arctic 30, including President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil who spoke out last week demanding their release, and German chancellor Angela Merkel who spoke directly to President Putin. Yesterday, 11 Nobel Peace Prize winners sent letters to President Putin calling for the immediate release of the activists, while Olympics legend John Carlos used the 45th anniversary of his peaceful action at the Mexico Olympics - when he raised a fist on the podium — to call for the immediate release of the Arctic 30. Next week, the UK parliament will debate the detention of the activists and decide how they will intervene.

Celebrities voicing supporting for the Arctic 30 include Deepak Chopra and Gael Garcia Bernal, actors Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Jared Leto, Natalia Oreiro, Daniel Craig, Jim Carter, Edward Norton, Leonard Nimoy, and Lucy Lawless; musicians Thom Yorke, Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Alejandro Sanz and Murat Dalkılıç; supermodel Lily Cole, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, comedians Simon Pegg and Russell Brand, presenters Stephen Fry and Davina McCall, and campaigner Bianca Jagger to name a few.

For more information, please contact:

Therese Salvador, Media Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Mobile: 0917-8228734 Email:

For photos and videos, please contact:

Grace Duran, Regional Images Officer for Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Mobile: 0917-6345126 Email:

Madz Barrido, Regional Video Producer for Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Mobile: 0917-6345129 Email: