Russia has agreed to drop charges of piracy against the Arctic 30. The group of 28 Greenpeace activists and 2 journalists were arrested over a month ago as they were staging a protest against a Russian offshore oil rig.
The maximum penalty for piracy is fifteen years behind bars. Now they stand accused of hooliganism which carries a penalty of seven years which their lawyer Daniel Simons says is still wildly disproportionate.
“It doesn’t go nearly far enough. Our colleagues were at first accused of being terrorists, then they were accused of being pirates. Now they are accused of being hooligans. They are innocent of all these charges and they should be released immediately.”
Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, was towed to Murmansk where the group have been held in pre-trial detention. Judges have refused all requests for bail.
On Monday Russia refused to attend a UN tribunal in Hamburg in a case brought by Greenpeace over the detainees, saying Moscow had opted out of sea law.
Greenpeace campaigners around the world continue their calls to free the Arctic 30.