A Total of 30 Greenpeace activists are now in a Russian prison for at least two months for protesting the drilling in Arctic waters. The earliest they can be released is November 24, 2013.
Last Thursday, 20 activists and two journalists were sentenced to two months of jail time after a long court session. The fate of eight others were ruled to be decided at a new court hearing today and they too have been ordered to go to jail.
There are no charges yet to be filed against the activists who come from Russia and 17 countries. There is still a pending investigation to be conducted but Russian prosecutors are looking at charging them with piracy. In Russia, piracy can be punished with a maximum of 15 years in prison.
On September 18, two activists tried to scale a platform of Gazprom, a Russian state-controlled energy organization. The activists were trying to protest the risks to the environment from drilling in the Arctic, but they were stopped by the Russian Coast Guard.
Then Greenpeace’s ship, the Arctic Sunrise, was towed by the Coast Guard to Murmansk with more activists and the ship’s crew on board.
The following are some of the environmental heroes that have been ordered to go to jail: Greenpeace International spokesman, Dima Litvinov from the U.S. and Sweden; activist Sini Saarela, from Finland; activists Anthony Perrett and Frank Hewetson from the U.K.; Colin Russell from Australia; Alexandra Harris from the U.K. and Australia; two citizens from the Netherlands, a deckhand from Brazil, and a cook from the Ukraine.
Ivan Blokov, the Russian Greenpeace campaign director, has said the ship seizure is “the most aggressive and hostile act” against Greenpeace since 1985. This was when government agents of France bombed their Rainbow Warrior ship and killed one man.
There has to be a more justified procedure to this. How can proper justice be served if the accuser of the Greenpeace activists (a Russian state-controlled energy organization) is on the same side of the law?
By: Chelo Aestrid