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Future of Greenpeace Activists Uncertain

St. Petersburg is a beautiful city but wed like to be home with those who love us most.

Published: December 4, 2013 (Issue # 1789)

  • Photographers take photos of a TV screen showing Greenpeace activist Colin Russell during a court hearing on Nov. 29
    Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky / AP

The Greenpeace activists who were arrested following a protest in opposition to oil drilling in the Arctic are still unable to leave Russia, but their lawyers are working on the matter, said Anton Beneslavsky, one of the activists lawyers, at a press-conference in St. Petersburg on Nov. 29.

They cant leave Russia yet because the situation with the bail and the regulation of their legal status is not completely clear, Beneslavsky said.

It is not yet clear if their departure may be considered an attempt to flee prosecution, he said.

The investigators have not yet given the activists leave to depart Russia, Beneslavsky said. Currently the activists are in Russia on the basis of registration in their hotel. Its a temporary measure, he said. All foreign visitors to Russia are required to hold a valid visa both to enter and depart the country.

The situation is rather difficult because they were not arrested in Russia and were brought here without visas, Beneslavsky said.

We dont know how much time it will take to resolve this difficult legal situation that the Russians have created. Wed like the activists to have a chance to go home for Christmas at least, he said.

The ideal solution would be the dismissal of the unjust criminal case against the activists, then making visas for them and letting them go home, he added.

Another lawyer for the activists, Sergei Golubok, said on Monday that both the lawyers and the activists were confident that the foreigners would be allowed to leave Russia, Interfax reported.

Earlier, Russian authorities said the activists were free to travel, and could leave the Russian Federation, but that they would be able to do so only after the legal issues surrounding their presence in the country had been settled, Interfax reported.

Kieron Bryan, a freelance video journalist from the UK who was on board the Arctic Sunrise, said that all of the activists would like to go home for the time of the case.

St. Petersburg is a beautiful city but wed like to be home with those who love us most, Bryan said at the press conference.

After their release from pre-trial detention, some of the activists were called in to see the investigators.

Speaking to the investigators was a reminder that were still facing serious charges, Bryan said.

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Friday, Apr. 18

Teachers and students alike shouldnt miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.

The Tromso International Film Festival, Norways largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).

Sunday, Apr. 20

Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianitys holiest day.

Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the deserts most iconic plant.

Monday, Apr. 21

Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDAs Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.

Tuesday, Apr. 22

SPIBAs Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.

The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.