Russia says Arctic crew cannot leave country: Greenpeace

December 14, 2013 - 5:19:41 am

SAINT PETERSBURG: Russia has denied foreign Greenpeace activists permission to leave the country pending their trial over an Arctic protest, the group said yetserday, some two weeks after they were released on bail.

Dutch activist Anne Mie Jensen received a letter from the Investigative Committee, in which the powerful agency indicated to the crew, indicted on hooliganism charges, that they “cannot leave the country,” Greenpeace said.

The organisation said they had asked the committee to request exit visas from the Russian migration services for the 26 foreign nationals, so that they can go home, but the committee has refused.

The activists “would now be forced to stay in Saint Petersburg for Christmas and possibly well beyond,” without any idea as to when authorities will actually summon them for questioning.

The 30-strong crew of Arctic Sunrise was arrested after some activists attempted to scale a Gazprom gas company platform in the northern Barents Sea to protest oil exploration in the vulnerable area. 

Russian special forces boarded the ship shortly after the protest and towed it into Murmansk.

afp

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