Russians hold Devon Greenpeace activists for piracy

Russia’s investigative committee has announced they will prosecute around 29 Greenpeace activists arrested last Thursday (19 September).

The international crew of the Arctic Sunrise was arrested following an attempt to climb the Prirazlomnaya oil-drilling platform off the Russian coast.

Two activists were detained during this attempt on the 18 September with the remaining activists arrested the following day.

Among the six British Nationals on the Arctic Sunrise are Iain Rogers, 37 and Alex Harris, 27 from Devon.

Alex Harris’s mother Linda, 55 has said she fears for her daughter’s safety having not heard from her since Wednesday (18 September).

The platform is owned by Gazprom, the world’s largest gas company and was targeted by Greenpeace in a similar operation last year.

Greenpeace insists that the ship was seized in international waters 34 nautical miles from the Russian coast.

The environmental organisations also says that the activists have received no formal notification of charges or been offered legal or consular representation.

Russian officials have accused the crew of piracy and have contested claims the eizure took place in international waters.

Spokesman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin said "all those who assaulted the platform, regardless of nationality, will be prosecuted".

Markin claimed the protest was "an attempt to seize a drilling platform by storm" and said it raised "legitimate doubts about their intentions".

Greenpeace has begun a letter writing campaign to demand the release of the activists here.