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Greenpeace says Russia still holding Arctic protest ship
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Jan 16, 2014

Russia is still holding a Greenpeace ship despite an international court order demanding its release, the environment lobby group said Thursday.

The Dutch-flagged Arctic Sunrise ship was seized in September over Greenpeace's protest against oil drilling by Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Thirty activists, including four Russians were detained in the process, before being bailed and then benefitting from a Kremlin-backed amnesty.

The ship, however, remains under Russian control, Greenpeace said.

"Arctic Sunrise is still at the Murmansk port. Nothing has changed since last year," said Greenpeace Russia spokeswoman Tatyana Vasilyeva.

"Our lawyers are working on lifting the arrest," she said, adding that Russian officials have not set any conditions for releasing the ship.

"We don't know anything about when the ship will be freed."

The Germany-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruled in November that Russia must release the ship upon the posting of a 3.6 million euro bond.

The Netherlands then proceeded to issue a bank guarantee constituting the bond but Russia ignored the court's ruling.

The dispute recently made headlines again after Senegal seized a Russian vessel called the Oleg Naidenov for allegedly fishing illegally.

Russia then accused Senegal of acting under pressure from Greenpeace in detaining the Oleg Naidenov, whose home port is Murmansk.

Greenpeace campaigns against illegal fishing in Senegal, and has in the past used the Arctic Sunrise ship to catch vessels in the act.


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Isolation in Russia jail was 'very hard': Greenpeace activist
Zurich (AFP) Dec 31, 2013
A Greenpeace activist who was jailed in Russia over an Arctic protest said after returning to Switzerland that solitary confinement was "very hard" but that he did not regret joining the protest. "It was quite hard to be isolated, just by myself. Not in the beginning, but after a few weeks it was quite tiring," Marco Weber told a news conference at Greenpeace's Zurich office on Tuesday, a da ... read more

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