Quantcast
Energy

Fighting for Climate Justice: 29 of the Arctic 30 Released From Russian Jail

Today, Phil Ball from Oxford, England, became the second to last detainee of the Arctic 30 to be released from detention in St. Petersburg, according to Greenpeace. Colin Russell is the lone activist remaining in jail, where his lawyers are lodging appeals against his continued detention. They expect a hearing this week.

All but one member of the Arctic 30 team has been released from prison, where they were detained for more than two months for a peaceful action against Arctic oil drilling. Photo credit: Vladimir Baryshev /Greenpeace

The Arctic 30—made up of 28 Greenpeace International campaigners and two freelance journalists—were arrested nearly ten weeks ago following a peaceful protest against Arctic oil drilling in the Pechora Sea.

On Friday, in a case brought by the Netherlands against Russia, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered Russia to release the Arctic 30 and their ship, the Arctic Sunrise, upon the posting of a 3.6 million euro bond, said Greenpeace. Russia is now under an obligation to comply with the order. The Russian Constitution itself states that international law forms an integral part of the Russian legal system and Russian courts are under an obligation to implement the order. 

“Now that the Tribunal has ordered their release, I would remind you that President Putin recently said in a letter to the American people: ‘The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not,’" said Greenpeace International Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo. “Greenpeace would not disagree—the law is the law and this ruling goes a long way towards rectifying the great injustice against the Arctic 30 and we welcome it with open hearts."

Peter Willcox, the captain of the Arctic Sunrise was released on bail Friday and spoke to reporters on Saturday. He described the trying ordeal in The New York Times“The way we were arrested was quite scary,” he said. “They made the crew kneel on deck and took over the ship as quickly as possible. They had machine guns out.”

“The first thing they did was search everybody’s cabins and steal everybody’s liquor, and then they proceeded to drink it,” Willcox told the Times of the capture, saying the Russians staggered on the deck and were “quite drunk.” 

Willcox has been involved in Greenpeace for more than 30 years. He was the captain on the first Rainbow Warrior vessel that was bombed in New Zealand by the French secret service in 1985, but had never spent more than a night in jail for Greenpeace activism.

“I have just come from the UN climate talks in Warsaw where governments again have failed to take action against climate change," Naidoo said. "The Arctic 30 took action and it is time that governments acted with them. It is time for the Arctic 30 to come home to their loved ones. It is time for the Arctic to be protected. Thirty people stood up for seven billion people—we must stand with them.”

Willcox, Ball and the other activists face charges of hooliganism, punishable by up to seven years in prison in Russia. Below is a compilation video featuring emotional moments experienced by the released Arctic 30.

Visit EcoWatch’s OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING page for more related news on this topic.

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
Shutterstock

September 2017: Earth's 4th Warmest September on Record

By Dr. Jeff Masters

September 2017 was the planet's fourth warmest September since record keeping began in 1880, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and NASA this week. The only warmer Septembers came during 2015, 2016 and 2014. Minor differences can occur between the NASA and NOAA rankings because of their different techniques for analyzing data-sparse regions such as the Arctic.

Keep reading... Show less

Shocking Photo of Dehorned Black Rhino Wins Top Award

Africa loses an average of three rhinos a day to the ongoing poaching crisis and the illegal rhino horn trade. In 2016 alone, 1,054 rhinos were reported killed in South Africa, representing a loss in rhinos of approximately six percent. That's close to the birth rate, meaning the population remains perilously close to the tipping point.

This year, the Natural History Museum in London awarded photographer Brent Stirton the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year grand title for his grisly image of a black rhino with its two horns hacked off in South Africa's Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Smallholder agriculture in southern Ethiopia. Smallholder farmers are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity. Leah Samberg

How Climate Change and Wars Are Increasing World Hunger

By Leah Samberg

Around the globe, about 815 million people—11 percent of the world's population—went hungry in 2016, according to the latest data from the United Nations. This was the first increase in more than 15 years.

Between 1990 and 2015, due largely to a set of sweeping initiatives by the global community, the proportion of undernourished people in the world was cut in half. In 2015, UN member countries adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, which doubled down on this success by setting out to end hunger entirely by 2030. But a recent UN report shows that, after years of decline, hunger is on the rise again.

Keep reading... Show less
Pixabay

Two Graphs Explain Why California’s Wildfires Will Only Get Worse

By Molly Taft

The deadly wildfires ripping through Northern California are just the latest in a season of record-defying natural disasters in the U.S. As the death toll passes 40, reports of Californians hiding in pools as their houses burn and scenes of devastated homes and vineyards add to 2017's apocalyptic picture of how climate change is impacting America today.

As the Trump administration guts environmental protections and undermines science, California is one of the states leading the way on climate action. Ironically, experts agree the state can expect devastating fires like the ones in Napa to become the new normal. Drier and drier conditions and creeping temperatures in the American Southwest, definitively linked to climate change, serve to create tinderbox conditions for massive, catastrophic fires to explode.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Leonardo DiCaprio / Facebook

Leonardo DiCaprio Invests in Plant-Based Food Company

Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector, but eating a burger doesn't have to come with a side of guilt.

Actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio has invested in Beyond Meat, the makers of the world's first vegan burger that's famously known to look, smell and even taste a lot like the real deal.

Keep reading... Show less
www.facebook.com

Guard Dog Wouldn’t Leave Goat Flock During California Fires—And Lived to Tell the Story

By Andrew Amelinckx

The fire the Hendels barely escaped was part of the Northern California firestorm that has so far claimed 40 lives—including one of their neighbors, Lynne Powell—destroyed countless homes, and caused billions of dollars in damage.

"Later that morning when we had outrun the fires I cried, sure that I had sentenced Odie to death, along with our precious family of bottle-raised goats," Roland Hendel wrote in a recent Facebook post.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Climate activists Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein shut down Enbridge's tar sands pipelines 4 and 67 in Minnesota on Oct. 11, 2016. Shutitdown.today

Judge Allows Vital 'Necessity Defense' for Climate Activists

By Jessica Corbett

In a decision that is being called "groundbreaking" and "precedent-setting," a district court judge in Minnesota has ruled that he will allow oil pipeline protesters to present a "necessity defense" for charges related to a multi-state action by climate activists last October.

In his decision last week, Judge Robert Tiffany ruled that four activists who participated in the #ShutItDown action—in which pipelines across five states were temporarily disabled, halting the flow of tar sands oil from Canada into the U.S.—may present scientists and other expert witnesses to explain the immediate threat of climate change to justify their action.

Keep reading... Show less
www.youtube.com

Why Are Incarcerated Women Battling California Wildfires for as Little as $1 a Day?

As raging wildfires in California scorch more than 200,000 acres—roughly the size of New York City—more than 11,000 firefighters are battling the blazes, and a number of them are prisoners, including many women inmates.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

Get EcoWatch in your inbox