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Greenpeace lawyers to appeal to ECHR regarding detention conditions in Murmansk Region

October 07, 2013, 14:19 UTC+3
Many of the activists don't have access to drinking water
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Photo EPA/Dmitri Sharomov

Photo EPA/Dmitri Sharomov

MOSCOW, October 7. (ITAR-TASS). - Greenpeace International lawyers are going to lodge a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights regarding detention conditions of activists from the Arctic Sunrise ship that are held in a detention center in Murmansk region. This was announced today at a press conference by Greenpeace International lawyer Sergei Golubok.

He noted that the defense managed to meet all the accused. “We had the chance to analyze the conditions of their detention. They cannot be dubbed otherwise as inhuman,” the attorney said. He stressed that “many of the activists don’t have access to drinking water”. In addition, according to the lawyer, “some of them claim that there is video surveillance in the cells covering everything that is going on there”.

“Additionally, the majority of the activists don’t speak Russian; therefore they cannot use some options. Thus, for instance, to open a window and breathe fresh air, they need to ask a detention facility employee in Russian.” The lawyer added that “they had enough time to provide interpreters for foreign citizens”.

Golubok stated that “the conditions of Greenpeace activists’ detention don’t meet international requirements”. “In this regard, the defense proposes to choose alternative restriction measures not related to cellular detention. This refers to home arrest; the activists could stay in rented apartments, however, the court denies this,” he noted.

“We are ready to make a statement that we are seriously considering a possibility to lodge complaints to the European Court of Human Rights,” he said. “We will file a complaint the next day after the first appeal that will be considered tomorrow. This means the complaint will be likely filed in three days.”

On September 18, the Arctic Sunrise ship approached the Prirazlomnaya offshore oil drilling platform and the Greenpeace activists who were on the vessel, attempted to board the platform. Their actions were stopped by officers of the Border Guard Department of Murmansk Oblast’s FSB, after which the vessel was taken in tow to Murmansk port. The investigators opened a criminal case over piracy, but they do not rule out that the charges may be softened. A total of 30 crewmembers of the ship - representatives of 19 countries, were detained. Currently they are held in several detention facilities in the Murmansk Region. All of the activists were charged.

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