BREAKING: More than 10 peaceful activists charged with piracy
This is very bad news.
Thirteen Greenpeace activists and a freelance video journalist have now been charged with piracy under Article 227 of the Russian Criminal Code. The maximum sentence, if convicted, is 15 years in a Russian jail.
All for taking action to protect our future from catastrophic climate change.
A further 15 activists and a Russian freelance photojournalist will appear in front of the Russian Investigative Committee one of the following days, we expect.
Amnesty International has demanded that the Russian authorities drop the “absurd and damaging” piracy charges. More than 60 other NGOs have issued statements of concern and support including Human Rights Watch, Christian Aid, WWF International, Friends of the Earth International, 350, Sierra Club, Reporters Without Borders, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and Global Witness.
Nobel Laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks, Russian Human Rights activist Lyudmila Alekseyeva and numbers lawmakers and MEPs are also calling for their release. In an interview on Ekho Moskvy Radio on Wednesday, Russian rock legend Yuri Shevchuk dismissed the piracy charges as ridiculous.
“The whole world knows Greenpeace,” he said. “Greenpeace is the organization that helped save the Antarctic. . . and penguins and scientists live there happily. And what about saving whales!”
Earlier today Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said: “A charge of piracy is being laid against men and women whose only crime is to be possessed of a conscience. This is an outrage and represents nothing less than an assault on the very principle of peaceful protest. Any claim that these activists are pirates is as absurd as it is abominable. It is utterly irrational, it is designed to intimidate and silence us, but we will not be cowed.”
We need you now more than ever to support the mission of peaceful protesters around the world including the Arctic 30. Please share this news with your friends, family and colleagues.