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Russians Charge Greenpeace Activists With Hooliganism

By CR - Posted on 24 October 2013

OCT 24, 2013 - JTMP has blogged extensively on the punk rock band Pussy Riot, and how they got charged by Russian authorities with "hooliganism" for their free speech action. Last week we also blogged about how Greenpeace activists peacefully protested oil drilling  in the Barents Sea by attempting to non-violently occupy an oil drilling plarform; and how the next day their ship was boarded and they got arrested and charged with piracy, and were facing 15 years in prison. The Russian Investigative Committee has now changed the charge to the 30 Greenpeace activists to "hooligainism", the same law they used against the women artists of the band Pussy Riot. Greenpeace is very concerned about their 30 members that have been detained by Russian authorities, and are fighting a rigorous defense to free the "Arctic 30" as they are now being called. 

In a statement Greenpeace said, "The Arctic 30 are no more hooligans than they were pirates.This is still a wildly disproportionate charge that carries up to seven years in jail. It represents an assault on the very principle of peaceful protest." They added, "We will contest the trumped up charge of hooliganism as strongly as we contested the priacy allegations." They also spoke about the rumor that the Russian Investigative Committee might also charge some of the activists with using force against officials, but Greenpeace fiercely denies that saying, "Greenpeace has a 42 year history of entirely peaceful activism, it is a cheap libel to accuse campaigners of doing anything other than protesting peacefuly, they arrived at the the oil rig in a ship painted with a dove and a rainbow. Our ship was siezed by men with knives and guns, while the Arctic 30 raised their arms. They should be released immediately."

To find out more check out the Greenpeace website here.