We've received a number of letters now from the Arctic 30. We'd like to share a few highlights from a sample of them. They reveal what life is like for them in Murmansk, and how important your support is to them.

Frank HewetsonBritish detainee Frank Hewetson is managing to keep his sense of humour despite the situation. In a letter to the Independent on Sunday he says he's unsure about the "hostel" he is staying in. He writes:

"At about 07:00 “house cleaning” pop in, all dressed surprisingly in the same combat blue fatigues. It seems as if all the broom heads have fallen off their rather stout broom handles and I may be mistaken but the room seems rather messier than when they arrived. I might try to write a letter to the management and leave it in the “comments” box attached to the 5” plate steel partition to the hallway.

"There’s a bit of excitement tonight as we have kindly been provided with what I think is a chess set. My two colleagues were only too keen to get started and casually asked how many traveller’s cheques I normally travel with."

In Alex Harris' letter published in The Australian, she paints of a vivid picture of Murmansk, and explains how she is keeping hope alive.

"When we were taken off the ship to be arrested we were escorted by the coast guard ship and then by a bus. It felt like a scene from the cold war. It was dark. The bus was old and smelt of metal - I could taste it in my mouth. We were driven through a series of derelict buildings. There were more guards than there were of us.

"I heard the Arctic sunrise mentioned on the radio the other day. It was in Russian so I couldn't understand it but it's great to know the world is talking about us. On a good day I get to see my lawyer and hear news of protests all over the world. You wouldn't believe the difference the news makes. It really makes me feel better and I thank every single person who has joined a protest or sent an email. If there's one good thing to come of this horrible situation it's just that - the world is talking about Arctic oil and I've played a role in that. That's why the 30 of us are here."

Sini Saarela from Finland shares how important the messages of support are to her.

"I don't know how to thank you enough for all the support, warm thoughts and love that we get from you. Hearing about all the support that we get world-wide really squeezes my heart and puts tears in my eyes.  We are so lucky to have you! I feel sorry for all the activists behind bars around the world who can't have the same support and care as we are. Receiving all the letters, messages and greetings really makes my days and weeks. I read them all over again and again and they make me smile, laugh and even cry at the same time. They bring so much light into the darkening and early Murmansk winter.


"I spend a lot of time looking out through the window when the sun shines, it makes me think of all of you supporting us, it makes me happy and makes me smile. When it is snowing, I think about the Arctic, the sea ice, the beautiful nature up here, and it gives me strength, it gives this all a meaning."


And Canadian Alexandre Paul urges all of us to not give up.