Arctic oil activists home

Last updated 14:22 29/12/2013
David Haussmann
Reuters
BAILED: David John Haussmann attends the bail hearing.

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Kiwi environmental activists who spent a "traumatic" couple of months in a Russian prison have arrived home today.

David Haussmann and Jonathan Beauchamp were arrested following a protest at a Gazprom-operated oil platform in September.

Haussmann and Beauchamp were among thirty activists who tried to scale the Prirazlomnaya oil rig on September 18.

Greenpeace New Zealand executive director Bunny McDiarmid said they were granted exit visas a couple of days ago after Russian authorities voted for their amnesty.

McDiarmid said all 30 activists were first held on piracy charges, punishable by up to 15 years' jail.

The charges were changed to hooliganism charges before being dropped. They spent two months in prison.

McDiarmid said the activists should never have been charged in the first place.

''It is ridiculous that they were locked up for months over a peaceful protest to protect the Arctic.''

However, their plight had "raised the profile of what's going on in the Arctic significantly".

"I saw [Haussmann and Beauchamp] this morning when they first arrived. They're relieved to be home. They have had a pretty traumatic couple of months." 

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