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Investigation believes Greenpeace activists endangered lives of Prirazlomnaya crewmembers

September 30, 2013, 12:45 UTC+3

Peaceful motivation not an excuse, Investigative Committee notes

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Greenpeace activist Roman Dolgov. Photo EPA/IGOR PODGORNY / GREENPEACE

Greenpeace activist Roman Dolgov. Photo EPA/IGOR PODGORNY / GREENPEACE

MOSCOW, September 30. (Itar-Tass) – Press service of Russia’s Investigative Committee told Itar-Tass that the investigation has reason to believe Greenpeace activists endangered the property of Prirazlomnaya oil rig and lives of its crewmembers. Moreover, they have resisted arrest, the Committee’s representative said.

Now the Investigative Committee plans to determine individual roles in the event of each of the detainees. “These actions are criminally liable, regardless of what alleged purpose they had; supposedly peaceful motivation is not a valid justification,” the Committee spokesperson emphasized.  

Detention conditions

Arrested crewmembers of the Arctic Sunrise watercraft are held in satisfactory conditions; there are no complaints about their confinement conditions so far, said Dmitry Artamonov, representative of Greenpeace Russia. “You understand that conditions of Russian pre-trial detention centers are not exactly ideal. However, at this point they can be called satisfactory,” he said, adding that the main issue most crewmembers have with their confinement is poor quality of services provided by interpreters. The majority of detainees are foreign nationals, and interpreters are “often incompetent; activists poorly understand procedural actions in which they are currently involved,” Greenpeace representative said.

Artamonov also said that so far activists have not been officially charged. Murmansk court has arrested 30 Arctic Sunrise crewmembers for two months; only two members are Russian citizens. The investigation stated that if the suspects remained free they could have escaped custody, continue their illegal activity and influence the judicial system.

Currently crewmembers are being held in several detention centers in Murmansk region. The North-West Federal District’s investigation department of Russia’s Investigative Committee told Itar-Tass on Friday that the investigation petitioned for placing under arrest all the crewmembers, but the Leninsky Court of Murmansk granted the motion in part.

Incident investigation

Russia’s Investigative Committee had previously reported that those arrested for an attack on the Prirazlomnaya platform might be released from custody prior to the expiration of the two-month period ordered by the court. The Committee’s spokesman, Vladimir Markin, told Itar-Tass that after the role and culpability of each of the attackers and the degree of social danger of the offence is established, “the investigation may soften the measure of restraint, releasing the detainees even before the expiry of their arrest term.”

Previously Mikhail Starshinov, a State Duma member from the All-Russia People’s Front, called for an unemotional probe into the incident at the Prirazlomnaya oil platform.

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