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Putin Says Detained Greenpeace Activists Deserve Clemency

Published: November 22, 2013 (Issue # 1787)



  • President Vladimir Putin.
    Photo: Alexei Danichev / RIA Novosti

The Greenpeace activists detained in Russia over a protest at an Arctic oil rig should be granted clemency, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday as 10 of them were released and many others granted bail.

When asked to comment on their case at a meeting with Russian writers, publishers, critics and booksellers, Putin said that not every noble cause can justify any means.

“Were they pursuing a noble cause? Yes. Were they right to scale the platform? No,” the Russian president said. “But of course, the state should show clemency.”

In September, the Arctic Sunrise icebreaker carrying a group of 28 Greenpeace activists and two reporters approached an Arctic Sea oil platform owned by an affiliate of Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom.

The ship and its international crew were detained after some of the activists tried to scale the platform in protest against offshore drilling in the Arctic, which the environmental group says could have devastating consequences for the region’s fragile ecosystem. They were initially charged with piracy, but that charge was later downgraded to hooliganism.

A court in the northern city of Murmansk rejected Greenpeace's appeal Thursday over the arrest of the icebreaker.

By the time court hearings were over on Thursday afternoon, 26 of the 30 Greenpeace detainees had been granted bail and 11 of those had been released, the environmental organization said.

On Wednesday, Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel, a 31-year-old biologist from Brazil, became the first Arctic Sunrise crew member to be released.

Three Russians – Yekaterina Zaspa, Denis Sinyakov and Andrei Allakhverdov – as well as seven other crew members from New Zealand, France, Italy, Finland, Poland, Argentina and Denmark were released Thursday after bail was posted for them.

More bail hearings are scheduled for Friday.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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