UPDATE … JANUARY 1, 2014
Russia Drops Charges Against Greenpeace ‘Arctic 30′ Activists
A group of 30 Greenpeace activists stuck in Russia awaiting trial received their freedom for Christmas this year.
Greenpeace announced that Russia dropped criminal hooliganism charges against each of the so-called “Arctic 30.” The organization also said 14 of the group’s 26 non-Russian members were cleared to leave Russia, and it expects the rest to receive clearance soon.
The protestors were taken into custody Sept. 19 when armed Russian military members boarded their ship, the Arctic Sunrise, during a protest of oil drilling in arctic waters. The Russian government eventually reduced the charges against the group from piracy to hooliganism and released the group members on bail in November. Non-Russian members of the group were going to have to remain in the country until their trial.
After an international outcry for their release, the turning point for the Arctic 30 came last week when Russia passed an amnesty law aimed at first offenders, minors and women with small children. An amendment added to the bill before its passage extended the amnesty to those charged with hooliganism.
“I’m pleased and relieved the charges have been dropped, but we should not have been charged at all,” Peter Willcox, captain of the Arctic Sunrise, said in a statement.
Some say the bill is a move by the Russian government to sidestep controversial issues during the upcoming Winter Olympics, scheduled to take place in Sochi in February. Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina called the law a “PR stunt,” telling Russian TV stations she would have refused the amnesty “without a doubt” if she had a choice.
Members of the Greenpeace collective seem more willing to accept the amnesty.
“Now I’m going home to my bed, my wife, my kids and my life,” Arctic 30 member Dima Litvinov, of Sweden, said as he boarded a train Thursday. “I’m leaving Russia feeling like we won something here.”
The Arctic 30 thank YOU for your support
Published on Dec 28, 2013
All of the Greenpeace “Arctic 30” have now returned home, having been detained in Russia for 100 days following a peaceful protest against Arctic oil drilling in the Pechora Sea. Through this video, they would like to express their gratitude to all those around the world who have expressed their support for their cause over these challenging times.
We ALL are ONE!!
We ALL fight the fight!!