NZ Greenpeace activists stay detained

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 14:11 21/09/2013
Reuters

Greenpeace releases video they say shows its activists were held at gunpoint before being arrested during their protest at a Russian Arctic oil platform. Linda So reports.

Relevant offers

Europe

Teacher banned from classroom after allegedly sleeping with a student Your dog really does know what you're saying, and a brain scan shows how Police officer responsible for protecting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge resigns Denmark, Sweden toughen up asylum rules despite falling numbers Italy to hold mass funeral for earthquake victims as search for bodies continues Kiwi remains identified more than a century later on WWI battlefield in Belgium UK: London's Notting Hill Carnival draws crowd Dad believed to have killed wife, three sons, then himself Alien hunters excited by signal from space picked up by Russia - and a bit peeved Surgeons hope to do the world's first head transplant - and a head has been offered

Two New Zealand activists remain under Russian guard after they were arrested along with other members of a Greenpeace crew while protesting an Arctic oil rig.

Earlier this week, armed Russian Coast Guard officers boarded the Greenpeace International ship Arctic Sunrise and arrested the 25 activists on board, after a protest against Gazprom's Arctic oil drilling operations, Greenpeace said.

They remained in the custody of Russian authorities aboard their ship - the Arctic Sunrise - which has been placed under armed guard.

The environmental organisation would not say who the New Zealanders were, citing legal reasons.

No known charges had been laid yet, and Greenpeace said the activists had been denied legal or consular assistance. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed it was looking into the situation. 

The Russian Ministry of International Affairs claimed the Arctic Sunrise represented an environmental and security threat - an allegation Greenpeace has denied.

Greenpeace International's Arctic oil campaign chief Ben Ayliffe said the safety of the activists was his main concern. 

"They have done nothing to warrant this level of aggression and have been entirely peaceful throughout. In our last phone call with the ship, the crew said that their spirit remains high and they have been boosted by messages of support from thousands of people who stand with them to oppose dangerous Arctic oil drilling.

"The real threat to the Russian Arctic comes not from the crew of the Arctic Sunrise but from Gazprom, one of the most reckless oil companies in the world today."

According to activists on the ship, Russian Federal Security Service agents forced their way into the ship's radio room and inflicted significant damage to communication equipment.

It is thought the ship was circling energy giant Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya platform at the three nautical mile limit, inside international waters, when it was boarded by the Russian Coastguard.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content