The partner of a Kiwi Greenpeace activist being held in a Russian prison does not know when she will be able to talk to him next.
Tania Purtle, the partner of boat mechanic and activist Jonathan Beauchamp, had a two-minute conversation with him on the day he was jailed.
Beauchamp and New Zealand activist David Haussmann were among 30 activists protesting near a Gazprom oil platform in the Arctic last week when their boat, the Arctic Sunrise, was stormed by Russian authorities.
"He called me on Tuesday about 3pm Adelaide time, the day they arrived in Murmansk after they were detained," Purtle said from South Australia.
"The first words out of his mouth were, 'Don't call me back, this is a secret phone call, but I'm OK, nothing to worry about'."
Beauchamp said he expected to be home within two weeks.
"I don't think he had any idea of the magnitude of the situation at that point," she said.
Purtle said she was "holding up OK" considering the stressful situation.
"You don't want to go through this," she said.
"I knew there was a possibility, of course, that this could happen, but then when you actually go through it, it puts a different spin on everything."
She said she had not seen him since the beginning of June.
A Russian court today jailed the American captain of the ship, along with a Russian photographer and more than a dozen activists.
No charges have been brought against anyone in the group, and several activists' cases are still being considered by the court.
Greenpeace said on Friday it will appeal against the court rulings.
Judges have been deciding whether to jail those who were on the ship pending the investigation.
Russian authorities are looking into whether they could be charged with piracy, among other offences.
The court today denied bail and sanctioned a two-month jail term for Russian photographer Denis Sinyakov and Greenpeace spokesman Roman Dolgov, also from Russia.
It handed out similar terms to the captain, Pete Willcox, Canadian crew member Paul Douglas Ruzycki, Beauchamp, Francesco Pisanu, of France, Gizhem Akhan, of Turkey, and Marco Weber, from Switzerland, among others.
Several other activists were jailed for three days pending the investigation.
Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said some of those jailed could be released before the two months were up as investigators clarified what roles they played in the protest.
Although Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the activists were not pirates, he defended their detention.
The detained activists are from 18 countries, including Russia, and a long detention or trials could draw international attention to Russia's tough policy against protests.
Greenpeace executive director Kumi Naidoo said in an emailed statement that "the Russian authorities are trying to scare people who stand up to the oil industry in the Arctic, but this blatant intimidation will not succeed".
Reporters Without Borders said it was appalled by the jailing of Sinyakov, saying his arrest was "an unacceptable violation of freedom of information".
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe demanded Sinyakov's immediate release.
"It is worrisome that Sinyakov was arrested while performing his professional duties as a photojournalist," Dunja Mijatovic, the organisation's media freedom representative, said in a letter to the Russian Investigative Committee chief.
Sinyakov is a contributor to international and Russian media outlets.
Several Russian online media outlets said they would take all pictures off their websites in a show of solidarity with Sinyakov.
The platform, which belongs to an oil subsidiary of state gas company Gazprom, is the first offshore rig in the Arctic.
It was deployed to the vast Prirazlomnoye oil field in the Pechora Sea in 2011, but its launch has been delayed by technological challenges.
Gazprom said this month that it would start pumping oil this year, but no precise date has been set.
The Arctic Sunrise sails under the Dutch flag. The Netherlands has asked Russia to release the ship and its crew and explain the legal basis for its actions and any charges against the activists.
- with AP
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