Greenpeace activists remain in Russian custody after Arctic oil drilling protests
The Russian Coast Guard boarded a Greenpeace ship yesterday and arrested 25 activists, including six British nationals.
The move comes after the environmental group began protests against oil drilling operations in the Arctic, with two activists scaling an offshore oil rig on Wednesday.
The Greenpeace activists remain under the custody of Russian authorities, one day after their ship was seized.
“The actions of the violators were of an aggressive and provocative nature and had the outward signs of extremist activity that could have resulted in people’s death and other grave consequences,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The environmental group has said Coast Guard officials boarded the ship, Arctic Sunrise, and assembled the group on the helideck.
Greenpeace International activists locked inside the radio room said they saw other activists detained on their knees with guns pointed at them.
“The Coast Guard has boarded our vessels with guns, threatened our activists at gunpoint and fired 11 warning shots across our ship, so who is the real threat to safety here?” said head of Greenpeace International’s Arctic oil campaign Ben Ayliffe.
“The real threat to the Arctic comes not from Greenpeace International but from oil companies like Gazprom that are determined to ignore both science and good sense to drill in remote, frozen seas.”
This is the second Greenpeace protest to take place on the Prirazlomnaya oil rig. Six Greenpeace activists occupied the platform in August 2012, staging a 15-hour protest.
Image by Greenpeace