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Russian court jails 6 more Greenpeace activists

By Lynn Berry

Associated Press


MOSCOW >> A court in the northern Russian city of Murmansk sent six more Greenpeace activists to jail for two months and showed no sign that the remaining two activists would be treated any differently for a protest at a drilling platform in Arctic waters.

Twenty other activists and two journalists were ordered jailed for two months during a marathon court session on Thursday that stretched late into night, but the court ruled to hold the remaining eight only until new hearings could be held today.

No charges have been brought against any of the activists, who are citizens of 18 countries, including Russia. Russian prosecutors are considering whether to charge them with piracy, among other offenses, and the activists are being held pending the investigation.

The Russian Coast Guard disrupted an attempt on Sept. 18 by two of the activists to scale a platform owned by Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom to call attention to the environmental risks of drilling in Arctic waters. The next day, the Coast Guard seized Greenpeace's ship, the Arctic Sunrise, and towed it to Murmansk with the crew and activists aboard.

Greenpeace Russia campaign director Ivan Blokov has described the seizure of the ship as "the most aggressive and hostile act" against the environmental organization since French government agents bombed the Rainbow Warrior ship in 1985, killing one man.

Peter Wilcox, an American who captained the Rainbow Warrior, also is the captain of the Arctic Sunrise. He was ordered held in custody during Thursday's court session.

Those ordered jailed on Sunday include Dima Litvinov, Greenpeace International spokesman, who has dual U.S. and Swedish citizenship; Finnish activist Sini Saarela, who was one of the two who tried to scale the platform; a British activist; two Dutch citizens and a Ukrainian cook.

The platform, which belongs to Gazprom's oil subsidiary, is the first offshore rig in the Arctic. It was deployed to the vast Prirazlomnoye oil field in the Pechora Sea in 2011, but its launch has been delayed by technological challenges. Gazprom said this month it was to start pumping oil this year, but no precise date has been set.

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frontman wrote:
I wish the US would follow the lead of Russia and put these law breakers behind bars. Siberia will be a good place for them.
on September 29,2013 | 09:27AM
aomohoa wrote:
We like to slap them on the wrist and say be a good boy now. LOL
on September 29,2013 | 09:32AM
Rapanui00 wrote:
True Hero's in every way. Greenpeace and Earthjustice are the two leading warriors in the battle to save this planet we call home. The comments on this page show how out of touch the majority of the population who live in Hawaii are. This is one of the reasons that Hawaii has the dubious distinction of having the highest extinction rate on the planet!
on September 29,2013 | 03:02PM
Fred01 wrote:
The "culture" here sucks!
on September 29,2013 | 03:36PM
cojef wrote:
Have no symphaty for anyone violating personal property rights to foster their private political or environmental agenda. You do the crime, you pay the piper and do not ask you Government to bail you out.
on September 29,2013 | 10:44AM
Anonymous wrote:
I can assure you that the juveniles at Greenpeace will seriously reconsider any more of their activities with the Russians in the future, judging by Russia's seemingly Zero Tolerance attitude towards these environmental terrorists. I just wish WE would adopt such strict measures. My hat's off to the Russians. Yippeee!
on September 29,2013 | 01:13PM
waipio97 wrote:
These environmentalists and others like them believe they can brake the law with impunity. I hope the Russians keep them in jail for awhile .
on September 29,2013 | 01:19PM
9ronboz wrote:
They deserved it
on September 29,2013 | 01:58PM
toke wrote:
We need more people with guts to stand up to this BS that govts do. It always is " MIGHT IS RIGHT" and about the money. Seems most of us believe the govts and their brainwashing information.
on September 29,2013 | 02:08PM
jussayin wrote:
They broke the law, go to jail. Wish US did it this way.
on September 29,2013 | 02:47PM
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