Free the Greenpeace 30
Update: possible drug charges levelled against campaigners
Russian investigators have said that the charges against some of those detained last month under piracy legislation might change because drugs - thought to be raw opium and morphine - were found on their boat.
The Russian authorities also said investigators were trying to establish which detainees were responsible for "deliberately ramming" Russian coastguard boats in the Arctic.
Greenpeace said any suggestion illegal drugs were found was a "smear" and "fabrication" as its ships only carry medical supplies required under maritime law.
Commenting on the latest developments in the case, Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said:
“Those 30 brave men and women are in jail on trumped up charges, they are prisoners of conscience. They are there not because of what they did but because of what they represent. They are there not because of Russian law but because they made a stand against vested interests. Greenpeace does not think it is above the law, but those campaigners are not pirates, even President Putin says so, and every day they remain behind bars is an affront to the basic principles of justice.”
On the 19 September, the Russian Coast Guard illegally boarded Greenpeace's ship, the Arctic Sunrise, whilst in international waters after two activists tried to board Gazprom's Russian state-controlled oil platform in the Pechora Sea in the Arctic.
The 30 people on board the Greenpeace vessel were held under armed guard for 5 days and were subsequently remanded for two months, facing investigation for piracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.
Six of those held have just been refused bail, including two Britons, Kieron Bryan and Philip Ball. More bail applications will be heard this week.
Greenpeace are continuing to ask that people urgently email the Russian Embassy to demand of those currently being held.
Send an urgent email to the Russian Ambassador in London and demand the immediate release of these protesters. Over a million emails have already been sent.
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