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Russia denies Polish Greenpeace activist bail

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 21.10.2013 15:42
Poland's Tomasz Dziemianczuk will remain in custody alongside other members of the 'Arctic 30', after a Murmansk regional court in Russia dismissed an appeal filed by Greenpeace.
Tomasz Dziemianczuk at the court in Murmansk. Photo: EPA/Angela KolyadaTomasz Dziemianczuk at the court in Murmansk. Photo: EPA/Angela Kolyada

Tomasz Dziemianczuk: hoto: EPA/Angela Kolyada (archive)

The detention follows Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise ship being seized by border guards on 18 September, after activists scaled the Prirazlomnaya drilling rig in the Pechora Sea, which is within Russia's economic zone.

The activists are being charged with piracy and drug possesion, with the Greenpeace members facing up to 15 years inside one of Russia's labour camps.

The court ruled Monday that if released, Dziemianczuk “could continue his criminal activity.”

The 36-year-old Pole told the court that Greenpeace's motivations were purely ecological and claimed that the protest action was not connected with politics or economics.

“We respect Russia but we want to protect nature,” he said.

After hearing the verdict, Dziemianczuk criticised the court.

“This is how democracy dies,” he said. “First Pussy Riot and then Greenpeace.”

Greenpeace have denied the charges of piracy and said that drugs found on board the ship were for medical use.

"Under Russian law and international law what we did – this peaceful protest – doesn’t meet the criteria of piracy," Greenpeace's Ben Ayliffe told DW radio.

"The idea that these people are pirates is absurd, even Russian President Vladimir Putin admits this. I think any reasonable people can see that. We are working very hard with our legal team to fight these charges and to get them out as quickly as we possibly can," he said. (pg/nh)

Source: IAR/DW

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