Russia Drops Greenpeace Piracy Charge
Charges of hooliganism remain
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Russia announced Wednesday that they would drop the piracy charges against the 30 crew members of Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise. Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports that the charges of hooliganism remain, presenting the crew with a potential seven-year sentence if convicted.
Vladmir Chuprov of Greenpeace Russia released a statement disputing the charges. “We will contest the trumped up charge of hooliganism as strongly as we contested the piracy allegations. They are both fantasy charges that bear no relation to reality.”
Russian authorities have held the 30 crew members, including two freelance journalists, ever since Greenpeace’s September 17 protest of Gazprom’s oil platform in the Arctic Sea.
According to CNN, Russian authorities may still charge crew members for using force against state officials and for endangering the lives of Gazprom employees.
Update from Greenpeace’s 11/15/13 press release:
“Despite promising to withdraw the charge of piracy, the Investigative Committee has so far failed to formally do so. The Arctic 30 have now been detained by the Russian authorities for nearly two months, since the Arctic Sunrise was seized on September 19th.”