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International court considers Dutch call for Greenpeace activists held in Russia to be freed


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International court considers Dutch call for Greenpeace activists held in Russia to be freed

An international court is considering a Dutch call for Russia to immediately release 30 people held after a Greenpeace protest against oil drilling in the Arctic.

A Dutch government representative said Russia had “violated the human rights” of the activists and detained them for seven weeks “without grounds”.

Outside the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in the German port of Hamburg, Greenpeace backed the Netherlands’ bid on behalf of the so-called Arctic 30.

“It looks like the Dutch government has a strong case when it comes to the Arctic Sunrise being illegally boarded and its crew imprisoned,” said activist Joris Thijssen.

“Greenpeace never had anything to do with piracy. We are not violent. We did not do it for profit. We do this for a safe environment and a protected North Pole.”

In the shadow of the Kremlin in Moscow, activists took to a speedboat to make an eye-catching call for the release of the Arctic 30, from 18 different countries including the Netherlands.

Greenpeace fears those being held, now accused of hooliganism, carrying up to seven years in jail, could still face original charges of piracy.

Russia accuses the activists and their ship, the Dutch-registered Arctic Sunrise, of posing a security threat.

A verdict from the International Court is due on November 22.

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