Greenpeace30 bail appeals refused as Brazilian President Speaks out
Amsterdam, 11 October 2013 - Appeals for bail by lawyers for Phil Ball and Kieron Bryan, both British citizens, were today refused by the Regional Court of Murmansk.
Phil Ball is one of 28 Greenpeace International activists who were arrested by Russian special forces after a peaceful protest at an Arctic oil rig operated by Gazprom. Kieron Bryan is a freelance videographer who was contracted by Greenpeace International to document the protest.
Three activists and a Russian freelance photographer were refused bail earlier in the week. Further bail applications on behalf of the other activists will be heard next week.
The International Federation of Journalists and the European Federation of Journalists have today called for the immediate release of Kieron Bryan and Phil Ball (a registered journalist and activist) as well as the freelance Russian photographer Denis Sinyakov. (1)
The head of the Kremlin's Human Rights Council, Mikhail Fedotov, has also said the Greenpeace International activists cannot be charged with piracy as they did not have an intention to seize the oil rig. He has also said the council will appeal to the general prosecutor to change the decision.
On Thursday Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff ordered 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.
Commenting on the latest developments in the case, Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said:
“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.”
Over the weekend Kumi Naidoo travels to Reykjavik, Iceland, to attend the opening of the Arctic Circle conference - a newly established forum where politicians, NGOs, corporations and other stakeholders meet to advance collaborative decision-making on Arctic issues. There he will urge other Arctic states to press for the release of the detainees.
A bail hearing for Captain Peter Willcox, US citizen and long time Greenpeace Captain has been confirmed for 10 AM local time Monday morning.
Commenting ahead of the bail hearings, Greenpeace USA Executive Director Phil Radford said, “Growing international pressure seems to be panicking the Russian prosecutors, who are threatening the activists and journalists with ever more bizarre charges. Millions of people around the world are standing up and speaking out for the Greenpeace30, a growing list of world leaders have indicated their willingness to intervene, and even the Chair of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council has called the charges ‘laughable’.
“We are saddened to see the further refusal of bail this morning for one of the activists and a freelance journalist and we - along with Peter’s family and many friends and supporters - can only hope that the court sees fit to at least end this utterly unwarranted denial of bail before Monday morning’s hearings,” Mr Radford said.
The next confirmed bail hearing times are (all in local times):
Monday Oct 14 9:30 AM activist Camila Speziale (ARG) and crew member Cristian D'Alessandro (ITA); and 2 PM crew member David Haussmann (NZ). Tuesday Oct 15 10 AM activist Frank Hewetson (UK) and Marco Weber (SWISS).
Greenpeace USA, Keiller MacDuff, +1 202 679 2236
Greenpeace International picture desk: +31 20 718 24 71
Greenpeace International video desk: +31 20 718 24 72