Accessibility links

Breaking News

Greenpeace Sues Russia Over 'Arctic Sunrise' Detention

Greenpeace International activist Faiza Oulahsen (right) from the Netherlands celebrates after being granted bail during a hearing on the "Arctic Sunrise" case at Primorskiy Court in St. Petersburg on November 20.
The environmental group Greenpeace is suing Russia before the European Court of Human Rights for detaining its members during a protest last year against Arctic drilling.

Greenpeace lawyer Sergei Golubok said Monday that the group wants compensation and a declaration that the detention of its activists was illegal, as it breached the group's right to liberty and freedom of expression as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Russia has acceded.

In September, Russian security forces detained 30 Greenpeace activists and journalists, including four Russians, and seized their "Arctic Sunrise" ship over the protest at an offshore oil rig owned by state energy giant Gazprom.

The activists were charged with piracy, but that charge was later downgraded to hooliganism.

They spent around two months in detention before being amnestied in December.

"The Arctic Sunrise was in the exclusive economic zone of the Russian Federation in the Pechora Sea and outside of the Russian-declared three nautical miles' exclusion zone around the oil platform, Prirazlomnaya, which was the target of the protest," Amnesty says in its statement on the suit.

Based on reporting by Interfax, AFP, and RFE/RL