Six more Greenpeace activists leave Moscow
December 28, 2013 - 5:23:56 am
PARIS: Five British Greenpeace activists and one Canadian left Russia yesterday after an amnesty that halted their prosecution for a protest against oil drilling in the Arctic.
Following a flight out of Saint Petersburg precisely 100 days after first being detained, the activists landed at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, with most then heading for Britain.
Anthony Perrett, Phil Ball, Iain Rogers, Alex Harris and Kieron Bryan — all British citizens — were smiling as they were escorted by police outside the airport.
An airport source said they were to continue travelling via the Eurostar train link to London.
The sixth activist, Alexandre Paul of Canada, remained in the airport transit area and was due to catch another flight, the source said.
Seven of 30 activists charged in the probe have now left Russia after Dmitri Litvinov, a Swedish-American, left Saint Petersburg for Helsinki on Thursday. Four of the so-called Arctic 30 are Russian nationals.
“We’re leaving Russia, it’s over, we’re finally truly free,” Harris said in comments before leaving, quoted by Greenpeace, saying she was “grateful and humbled” by the support she received.
“I promise I will repay those people by using my freedom to stand up for the Arctic,” she added.
Their initial arrest came in September when the Dutch-flagged Arctic Sunrise was seized by the Russian security forces who winched down from a helicopter in a commando-style operation.
They were first detained in the Arctic Circle city of Murmansk and then transferred to Russia’s second city of Saint Petersburg.
It was courts in Saint Petersburg that in November ordered the release of all 30 on bail after over two months in detention. Their departure from Saint Petersburg was then made possible by the Kremlin-backed amnesty.
The Arctic Sunrise ship remains under Russian control in Murmansk.