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Russian Court Grants Bail To Two Of 30 Greenpeace Detainees


Yekaterina Zaspa, who was a doctor aboard the "Arctic Sunrise" and is one of 30 people arrested over the Greenpeace protest at the "Prirazlomnaya" oil rig, in the dock in St. Petersburg at her November 18 hearing
MOSCOW -- A Russian court has granted bail to two of 30 people being held in pretrial detention over a Greenpeace protest against Arctic oil drilling.

The court in St. Petersburg ruled on November 18 that Yekaterina Zaspa, a Russian medic on the Greenpeace ship, and photographer Denis Sinyakov may each be released on $61,300 bail.

Earlier in the day, a judge in St. Petersburg denied a request for bail for Greenpeace activist Colin Russell, an Australian, and remanded him in custody until February 24.

EXPLAINER: Five Things You Should Know About Russia's Greenpeace Drama

Seven of the 30 people arrested over the September 18 protest faced court hearings.

Russia first charged the 28 activists and two journalists with piracy, which carries a possible 15-year jail sentence.

Russian authorities later announced hooliganism charges in the case.

"[The] charges are the same against everyone -- that means they should release everybody," Greenpeace lawyer in Russia Sergei Golubok said. "They should release everybody, and immediately. The defense is strongly convinced of that. They should have done it long ago, and not today when people have already spent two months behind bars for nothing."

Greenpeace has called the charges absurd and demanded that all detainees be released immediately.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and Interfax