[QODLink]
Europe

Russia grills Greenpeace activists

Activists who tried to scale Arctic drilling platform are questioned, though President Putin says they are not pirates.

Last Modified: 25 Sep 2013 18:46
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Thirty activists of Greenpeace who attempted to climb onto an Arctic offshore drilling platform last week have been interrogated for several hours before being taken to a detention facility.

Russia's main federal investigative agency said it would prosecute the activists on piracy charges for trying to access the platform owned by the state-controlled gas company Gazprom.

The activists from 18 countries were on a Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, which was seized by the Russian Coast Guard and towed into a small bay near Russia's Arctic port of Murmansk.

The Greenpeace protest was aimed at calling attention to the environmental risks of drilling for oil in Arctic waters.

The Investigative Committee said its agents would question all those who took part in the protest and detain the "most active" of them on piracy charges. 

Piracy carries a potential prison sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of 500,000 rubles ($15,500).

'Not pirates"

Meanwhile, the Russian President Vladimir Putin said though the activists were not pirates, they had broken international law.

"It is absolutely evident that they are, of course, not pirates, but formally they were trying to seize this platform. It is evident that those people violated international law," Putin said at an Arctic forum on Wednesday.

The oil platform, the first offshore rig in the Arctic, was deployed to the vast Prirazlomnoye oilfield in the Pechora Sea in 2011, but its launch has been delayed by technological challenges.

Gazprom has said it was to start pumping oil this year, but no precise date has been set.

280

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list