I am writing to you with a request for your attention and action.
As you may know, 28 Greenpeace activists (as well as a freelance photographer and a freelance videographer) took part in a peaceful protest at Gazprom's drilling platform Prirazlomnaya on September 18th.
Two of the activists tried to climb the side of the platform and attempted to stage a safe, peaceful protest. More than 24 hours later, Russian security services descended from a helicopter onto the deck of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, seized the ship at gunpoint and detained the crew. This took place outside Russia's territorial waters.
These activists and freelancers were held for two months in detention centers in Murmansk and Saint Petersburg. While they have now all been granted bail, they remain accused of serious charges and could face years in jail if convicted for a crime they did not commit.
I am very concerned by the response of Russian authorities. The charges of piracy and hooliganism, which carry maximum 15 and 7 year jail sentences respectively, are disproportionate.
You have an important voice in this matter. Please use your position to promote fairness and reason.
The crew of the Arctic Sunrise were protesting at the Prirazlomnaya for purely unselfish reasons. As the ice is retreating, oil companies are moving north to drill for the fuels that are causing the ice to melt. The Arctic 30 were acting out of a deeply held conviction that this is a risky enterprise, when an oil spill would be catastrophic for the entire region. They should not be charged with such a serious crime as hooliganism for taking peaceful, safe action to protest the dangerous industrialization of the Arctic.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and 13 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates have joined hundreds of thousands of people across the globe calling for the release of the Arctic 30.
I am writing to add my voice.
I am asking for your help.
Please join me in calling for:
All charges to be dropped and the 28 activists and two freelancers immediately freed to go home to their families.
A commitment that the activists and freelancers continue to have access to full legal representation of their own choice, as well as consular services, translators, and human rights inspectors.
An investigation into the destructive and secretive activities of oil companies in the Arctic, and a ban on offshore oil drilling in the region.
I urge you to relay these requests to the Russian government in Moscow immediately. Please join me in calling for the swift release of the Arctic 30.
This petition closed almost 2 years ago