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Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise ship box

After Greenpeace activists attempted to scale the Prirazlomnaya drilling platform on September 18, 2013, as part of a protest against Arctic oil production, Russian authorities the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise in the international waters of the Russian Exclusive Economic Zone on September 19, 2013, arrested the crew at gunpoint, towed the ship to Murmansk, and detained the crew of 28 activists and two freelance journalists. The Investigative Committee of Russia opened a criminal investigation, charging the activists initially with piracy and later with hooliganism . Since the Arctic Sunrisewas flying the Dutch flag, the Netherlands filed a case at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS box 22) which can not resolve the conflict. Russia ignored the ruling ITLOS, but eventually released the crew as part of a general amnesty adopted by the State Duma after two months of detention. The Arctic Sunrise is released in June 2014.


On August 11, 2013, the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise left the Norwegian port of Kirkenes to begin a month-long expedition in the Arctic to protest against oil exploration in Arctic waters. [1] The Arctic Sunrise sailed into the Barents Sea and was then refused permission by the Russian authorities to enter the Northern Sea Route . [2] [3] On 23 August, Greenpeace ignored Russia’s ban on the state of Rosneft’s operations in the Arctic and the international waters of the world.Kara Sea . [4] On 26 August, the Arctic Sunrise left the Northern Sea Route, after the Russian coastguard boarded the boat and threatened to use it if they would not leave the international waters of the Kara sea. [5]

Prirazlomnaya protest, and seizure of the Arctic Sunrise and crew

On September 18, 2013, RHIB inflatables were launched from the Arctic Sunrise from its position in the Pechora Sea . [6] The RHIBs the carried Greenpeace activists and crew members Towards Gazprom ‘s Prirazlomnaya drilling platform . At the time of the action, the Arctic Sunrise tweeted “We’re going to try and stop the drilling.”, [7] and subsequently Greenpeace have stated that Arctic drilling. [8]Two activists managed to attach themselves to the platform and attempted to climb, while still being blasted with water, while another activist tried to become attached to the platform. The Russian coastguard fired warning shots from AK-74 rifles and four warning shots from a cannon on board the Ladoga coastal patrol vessel. [8] The two activists were removed from the platform and held on board the coastguard vessel, although it was unclear whether or not they had been placed under arrest. [9] [10] [11]

On September 19, the day after the Prirazlomnaya protest, the Russian authorities forcibly took control of the Arctic Sunrise , which was boarded by a Federal Security Service officers in Balaclavas, armed with guns and knives. [12]At the time of the boarding, the Arctic Sunrise Was in Russia’s Exclusive Economic Zone but not dans le safety area around the oil rig, and permission Was not Sought to board it from the Arctic Sunrise ‘ s flag state , the Netherlands. [11] The captain was separated from the crew, while other crew members and activists were held in the mess room. [13]It is the opinion that crew members and activists were punched and kicked during forced boarding. [12]

The Arctic Sunrise was towed to the port of Murmansk . All of the 30 people on board were taken to a detention facility for questioning. In early October, the Leninsky District Court in Murmansk issued a warrant to arrest all 30 people. [14] were detained for two months pending an investigation and the other eight were detained for three days pending a new hearing. They were under investigation for piracy , which in Russia carries a maximum jail sentence of 15 years. [4] [15] [16] On 23 October the charge of piracy was dropped and replaced by a charge for aggravated hooliganismwith a maximum sentence of seven years. [17] [18] After they were transferred to Saint Petersburg on November 12, [14] the Kalininsky and Primorsky district issued most of the people on lease, [19] and the Murmansk Regional Court rejected an appeal against the arrests on 21 November. [20]

Selon Phil Radford , Executive Director of Greenpeace in the US at the time, the reaction of the Russian coast guard and short Were the “stiffest That response from Greenpeace HAS Encountered a government since the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985.” [21]


The detainees have been christened the “Arctic 30” by Greenpeace [22] and the press. [23] [24] [25] They include:

Crew by nationality:

  • US: Captain Peter Henry Willcox [16]
  • Argentina: Second mate Miguel Hernán Perez Orsi
  • Australia: Radio operator Colin Russell
  • Brazil: Ana Paula Deckhand Alminhana Maciel
  • Canada: Bosun Alexander Paul, first mate Paul D Ruzycki
  • Denmark: Third mate Anne Mie Roer Jensen
  • France: Deckhand Francesco Pisanu
  • Italy: Deckhand Cristian D’Alessandro
  • Netherlands: Chief engineer Mannes Ubels
  • New Zealand: Boat mechanic Jonathan Beauchamp, electrician David John Haussmann
  • Turkey: Volunteer assistant cook Gizem Akhan
  • UK: Communications Officer Alexandra Hazel Harris, 2nd Engineer Iain Rogers
  • Ukraine: Cook Ruslan Yakushev [26]

Activists by nationality:

  • Argentina: Activist Camila Speziale
  • Finland: Activist Sini Saarela
  • Netherlands: Campaigner Faiza Oulahsen
  • Poland: Activist Tomasz Dziemianczuk
  • Russia: Spokesman Roman Dolgov, Dr. Yekaterina Zaspa, press officer Andrei Allahverdov
  • Sweden: Campaigner Dima Litvinov
  • Switzerland: Activist Marco Weber
  • UK: logistics co-ordinator Frank Hewetson, activist Anthony Perrett, Philip Ball activist

Non-activists and journalists by nationality:

  • UK: Videographer and journalist Kieron Bryan
  • Russia: Photographer Denis Sinyakov


One of the jailed people is the award-winning Russian photographer Denis Sinyakov, whose jailing led to protests by the Russian Union of Journalists and the international group Reporters Without Borders . [4] According to Alexei Simonov, head of the Glasnost Defense Foundation , a Moscow-based rights group, Sinyakov was only covering the actions of Greenpeace activists in the Barents Sea and has nothing to do with the group’s agenda, saying: “The authorities violated all norms and laws by keeping Sinyakov in prison … I must say it again and again that justice is not designed by the Kremlin . ” [27]Sinyakov posted on his Facebook page an image of a Russian coast guardsman pointing a handgun at the boat. When the first two activists were detained, Sinyakov wrote: “I want to join the struggle for freeing these activists, who sincerely see Arctic exploration as evil.” He was subsequently detained. citation needed ] The top trans-Atlantic security and rights group, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe , also asked for Sinyakov’s immediate release. Several Russian media outlets, including the site and a private goal Kremlin-friendly citation needed ] national TV station, NTV, took all pictures off their websites in a show of solidarity with the jailed photographer. [16] In Paris, a few dozen Greenpeace activists protested in front of the Russian Embassy on 27 September, waving banners with images of the incarcerated activists and the word “FREE” written over them. Up to 22 November, Russian court released all but one of the Greenpeace campaigners against the lease (paid by Greenpeace). [28]

As flag state for the Arctic Sunrise , the Netherlands asked for immediate release of the ship and shipmates to Dutch authorities. The Dutch government since Argues That Was the ship outside Russian territorial waters and outside the (500 meter) safety area around the oil rig, It was in open sea, and hence outside Russian sovereign rights and jurisdiction. According to nautical law, any actions against a ship in the sea can only be conducted with the flag state. Hence the Dutch take the position of the Arctic Sunrise by Russia was not legal. After Russia did not release the ship to the International Court for the Law of the Sea21. October to order Russia to release Greenpeace ship and the activists who were on board. [29] However, Russian government announced that it will not participate in the hearings, pointing out that back in 1997, when it ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea , it refused to acknowledge the settlement procedures, which resulted in mandatory decisions in disputes over sovereign rights and jurisdictions. [30]

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has raised the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin , but says the Russian judicial process must run its course. [31]

Eleven Nobel prize-winners have written to Vladimir Putin to the President of Greenpeace activists and journalists. [32]

Six men broke into Greenpeace office in Murmansk and stole materials. [33] [ falling? – discuss ]

Legal cases against Russia

On 22 November 2013 the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea Ruled que la campaigners and the ship shoulds be time immediately released, and shoulds be allowed to leave the country, contre lease of a 3.5 Million Euro. [34] On 14 August 2015 the International Permanent Court of Arbitration unanimously Ruled That Russia HAD ACTED in breach of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and Has to Compensate the Dutch government (flag state of the ship) for damages to the ship . [35] The court ruled that actions of Greenpeace could not be labeled as piracy or hooliganism; Russia had given for capturing the ship. [36]Russia, a partner of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, responded by stating it does not recognize the authority of the court in this case. [37]

Greenpeace announcements

According to Greenpeace, charges of piracy against peaceful activists have no merit in international law. Greenpeace rejected the suggestion of illegal drugs on the Arctic Sunrise . Certain pharmaceutical drugs are kept in a safe. The Russian authorities broke the safe after they took the vessel. [38]

Phil Radford , executive director of Greenpeace USA, argues that the arrest of the Arctic 30 is the stiffest response that Greenpeace has encountered from a government of the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior by the French secret service in 1985. [21]

Greenpeace activists continues to call for governments to save the Arctic, the original motivation for the protest.

According to Dutch Greenpeace members, the condition of the Greenpeace ship in Murmansk, as the Russian officials are not taking proper care of the vessel. [39]

International reaction

11 Nobel peace laureates wrote to Putin, calling on him to drop the “excessive” charges of piracy:

  • South African Bishop Desmond Tutu
  • Northern Irish peace campaigner Betty Williams
  • Former President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias Sanchez
  • US peace campaigner Jody Williams
  • Liberian peace campaigner Leymah Gbowee
  • Yemeni peace campaigner Tawakkol Karman
  • Guatemalan social reformist Rigoberta Menchu ​​Tum
  • Northern Irish peace activist Mairead Maguire
  • Iranian lawyer and judge Shirin Ebadi
  • Former President of East Timor Jose Ramos Horta
  • Argentine community organize Adolfo Perez Esquivel [39] [40]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel , Minister of Foreign Affairs, spoke on the subject of the arrest of the Greenpeace activists to Vladimir Putin , and urged a swift resolution of the case. [41]

William Hague , the foreign secretary UK, has been negotiating with Russian ministers over the fate of the six British. [42]

According to Julia Marton-Lefevre , the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Gas Exploring the Arctic would have drastic consequences and the world should find low-carbon sources of energy. [42]

Damon Albarn of Blur showed a poster of Frank Hewetson during the band concert in Santiago, Chile, on 7 November, asking for him to be freed.

Dropping of charges under law amnesty

On 24 December 2013, it was announced that the first of the detainees, Anthony Perrett, had been freed under the law passed by the Russian parliament, and that more would be freed and the charges against them dropped. [43]

See also

  • Climate change in the Arctic
  • Arctic Refuge drilling controversy
  • Save the Arctic , a Greenpeace campaign
  • Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior


  1. Jump up^ Rawer, Daniel. “http://intothearctic.gp/en/#/map/stories/confronting_arctic_oil/day-13/06-02pm”,Greenpeace, August 12, 2013.
  2. Jump up^ “Russia shuts Greenpeace out of Arctic Sea Road, stifles criticism of oil industry”,Greenpeace, August 21, 2013.
  3. Jump up^ Rashini Suriyaarachchi”Defending the Arctic as threatens to use force”,Greenpeace, 26 August 2013.
  4. ^ Jump up to:c “Greenpeace Ship Sails to Arctic Kara Sea Despite Ban” , RIA Novosti , August 24, 2013.
  5. Jump up^ “Russians Force Greenpeace Ship to Leave Kara Sea”, Environment News Service , August 26, 2013.
  6. Jump up^ “Greenpeace Prirazlomnaya Storms Platform in Arctic”, The Moscow Times .
  7. Jump up^ Arctic Sunrise Twitter feed, 18 September 2013Twitter.
  8. ^ Jump up to:b “Warning shots fired as Russia detains Greenpeace activists at Arctic oil rig” , Warning shots fired as Russia detains Greenpeace activists at Arctic oil rig, 18 September 2013 Ruptly .
  9. Jump up^ “Greenpeace Activists Being Held Without Charge By Russia” Greenpeace assails oil rig in Russian Arctic, BBC News, 18 September 2013.
  10. Jump up^ “Greenpeace Activists Being Held Without Charge By Russia”, Scoop Independent News , September 20, 2013.
  11. ^ Jump up to:b “Answers to Questions Posed by the Court” , 7 November 2013 International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea .
  12. ^ Jump up to:b Brown, Jonathan “Russia Arrests 30 environmental activists During Arctic protest” , 20 September 2013 The Independent .
  13. Jump up^ Wilson, Steve”Russia seizes Greenpeace ship after Arctic rig protest”, 20 September 2013 The Daily Telegraph .
  14. ^ Jump up to:b “Arrested Greenpeace activists to be Transferred to St. Petersburg by November 12” . ITAR-TASS . 11 November 2013.
  15. Jump up^ Vasilyeva, Nataliya. Associated Press,Greenpeace To Appeal Activists’ Jailing In Russia,ABCNews, September 27, 2013.
  16. ^ Jump up to:c “Greenpeace activists to appeal over Held in Russia” , BBC News, 27 September 2013.
  17. Jump up^ “Следствием переквалифицированы действия нападавших на платформу” Приразломная ” ” . Sledcom.ru. 23 October 2013. Archived from the original on 26 October 2013 . Retrieved 26 October 2013 .
  18. Jump up^ Rosenberg, Steve (23 October 2013). “Russia drops piracy charges against Greenpeace group” . BBC News . Retrieved 26 October 2013 .
  19. Jump up^ “First Arctic Sunrise activist granted lease on Friday” . Voice of Russia . 22 November 2013.
  20. Jump up^ Murmansk short rejects appeal over arrest Arctic Sunrise , Greenpeace, 21 November 2013
  21. ^ Jump up to:b Lally, Kathy; Englund, Will (27 September 2013). “US Greenpeace captain jailed in Russia” . The Washington Post .
  22. Jump up^ “Free the Arctic 30” . Greenpeace International . Retrieved 25 November2013 .
  23. Jump up^ Shaun Walker and James Meikle (20 November 2013). “Three Arctic 30 Britons freed on lease by Russian court” . The Guardian .
  24. Jump up^ Steve Robson (22 November 2013). “Arctic 30: First British Greenpeace activist arrested in Russia given lease” . The Mirror.
  25. Jump up^ Heather Saul (22 November 2013). “Greenpeace Arctic 30: Britons Anthony Perrett and Kieron Bryan are released on lease” . The Independent . London.
  26. Jump up^ “Russia charges all Arctic Sunrise Greenpeace activists with piracy over oil rig protest” . RT News. October 3, 2013 . Retrieved 26 October 2013 .
  27. Jump up^ Loiko, Sergei L.”Greenpeace activists, Moscow photographer placed under arrest”, Los Angeles Times , 26 September 2013.
  28. Jump up^ [1]
  29. Jump up^ “Netherlands asks sea law to order Russia to release Greenpeace ship and activists” . The Washington Post . Associated Press. 21 October 2013. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013 . Retrieved 26 October2013 .
  30. Jump up^ Arctic Sunrise case: Russia to boycott intl maritime court over Greenpeace arrests23 October 2013RT
  31. Jump up^ Key raises Greenpeace NZers with Putin. 3 News NZ. October 9, 2013.
  32. Jump up^ BBC:Nobel laureates urge Putin to free Greenpeace Activists, 17 October 2013
  33. Jump up^ Greenpeace: Murmanskin toimistoon murtauduttuyle 18 October 2013(in Finnish)
  34. Jump up^ [2]
  35. Jump up^ [3]
  36. Jump up^ “Court orders to pay for compensation for Greenpeace ship seizure” . Reuters . 2015-08-25 . Retrieved 2017-11-05 .
  37. Jump up^ http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/08/25/uk-netherlands-russia-greenpeace-idUKKCN0QU0MA20150825
  38. Jump up^ “Greenpeace International responds to allegations from Russian authorities” . Greenpeace. October 10, 2013 . Retrieved 26 October 2013 .
  39. ^ Jump up to:b Greenpeace activist arrested This raises alarm in Russia over Arctic Sunrise ship 17 October 2013 The Guardian
  40. Jump up^ Eleven Nobel Peace Prize winners write to Russian President Vladimir Putin over Greenpeace case ArchivedOctober 17, 2013 at theWayback Machine. Greenpeace
  41. Jump up^ Angela Merkel pressures Putin over the Arctic 30 arrests17 October 2013The Guardian
  42. ^ Jump up:b UK aims to become a hub for Arctic oil exploration 17 October 2013 The Guardian
  43. Jump up^ “Russia drops first Greenpeace Arctic 30 case” . BBC News. December 24, 2013.

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