Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

2 October 2013

Russia: Drop ‘absurd and damaging’ piracy charge against Greenpeace activists

Russia: Drop ‘absurd and damaging’ piracy charge against Greenpeace activists
The 30 Greenpeace activists and crew members were violently detained in Russia on 19 September.

The 30 Greenpeace activists and crew members were violently detained in Russia on 19 September.

© Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images


The Russian authorities have clearly decided to make an example of the Greenpeace activists in order to discourage future protests of this kind. Sadly this is consistent with the Russian authorities’ attitude to protest more broadly
Source: 
John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Programme Director

The “piracy” charge levelled against activists from the global environmental group Greenpeace today in Russia is absurd and damaging to the rule of law and must be dropped immediately, Amnesty International said.

“These absurd piracy charges are completely unfounded against activists who appear to have been engaged in peaceful protest. They make a mockery of the Russian justice system and should be dropped immediately,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International.

“The Russian authorities have clearly decided to make an example of the Greenpeace activists in order to discourage future protests of this kind. Sadly this is consistent with the Russian authorities’ attitude to protest more broadly.

“Should there be any reasonable ground to bring any other charges against any member of the Arctic Sunrise activists and crew, they should be promptly informed and released. Any conditions imposed on their liberty must be reasonable. Any charges brought should be consistent with international and Russian law and must not be excessive in relation to the actions of these activists who were engaged in peaceful protest.”

Those officially charged today were among a group of 30 activists of various nationalities who were violently detained on 19 September, when armed Russian authorities boarded their ship the Arctic Sunrise in the Pechora Sea off Russia’s northern coast. 

According to Greenpeace, they include: Russian cameraman Roman Dolgov, freelance videographer Kieron Bryan (UK), and the Greenpeace activists Sini Saarela (Finland), Dima Litvinov (Sweden/USA), Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel (Brazil), Anthony Perrett (UK), Camila Speziale (Argentina), Faiza Oulahsen (Netherlands), Mannes Ubels (Netherland), Tomaz Dziemianczuk (Poland) and a Ukrainian crew member. The “piracy” investigation into the remaining crew members is ongoing and a formal decision in their cases is expected soon.

Issue

Activists 
Detention 
Freedom Of Expression 

Country

Russian Federation 

Region

Europe And Central Asia 

Follow #FreetheArctic30 @amnestyonline on twitter

News

25 July 2014

The sentencing of a newspaper editor and a human rights lawyer to two years in prison on charges of contempt of court after a grossly unfair trial in Swaziland is an outrageous... Read more »

24 July 2014

The prolonged execution of a prisoner in Arizona yesterday represents another wake-up call for authorities in the USA to abolish the death penalty, said Amnesty International... Read more »

22 July 2014

Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said.

Read more »
24 July 2014

Poland is the first European Union member state to be found complicit in the USA’s rendition, secret detention, and torture of alleged terrorism suspects, Amnesty International... Read more »

25 July 2014

Amnesty International's experts respond to some of the questions raised around the Israel/Gaza conflict.

Read more »