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Greenpeace International lawyers to complain to ECHR against conditions in which activists are held

October 07, 2013, 23:36 UTC+3
Сomplaint would be made in the next three days
1 pages in this article
Photo EPA/JERRY LAMPEN

Photo EPA/JERRY LAMPEN

MOSCOW, October 7 (Itar-Tass) - Lawyers of the Greenpeace International plan to turn to the European Court of Human Rights to complain against conditions in which Greenpeace activists from the icebreaker Arctic Sunrise are held in several investigation wards in the Murmansk region, Greenpeace lawyer Sergei Golubok told a news conference on Monday.

He said the lawyers had the opportunity to meet with all the detained. “We have been able to assess the conditions in which they are held in wards. Inhuman, is the only way to describe these conditions,” he said. The lawyer said many of the activists had no access to drinking water. Some complained about surveillance cameras in cells.

“Moreover, many activists don’t speak Russian, and so can’t use some advantages,” he said. “For instance, one must ask an officer in Russian to have a window opened to take a breath of fresh air.” He said there had been enough time to provide the services of interpreters for foreigners.

Golubok said the conditions in which Greenpeace activists were held did not meet international standards. “Because of this, the defence suggests measures of restraint other than detention under guard in investigation wards. The activists could stay under house arrest in rented flats, but the courts refuse from that, he said.

“We are ready to declare that we seriously consider addressing the European Court of Human Rights,” Golubok said. He said the complaint would, most probably, be made in the next three days.

On September 18, the Greenpeace icebreaker Arctic Sunrise flying the Netherland’s flag, approached the offshore drilling rig Prirazlomnaya conducting drilling operations off the Murmansk region’s coast. Greenpeace activists tried to go aboard the fig. Their actions were checked by officers of the Border Department of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) for the Murmansk region, and the ship was towed to the port of Murmansk.

Criminal proceedings on charges of sea piracy were instituted. Thirty Greenpeace activists were detained - people from 19 countries, among them Russian citizens. They are now held in several investigation wards in the Murmansk region and all are faced with charges.

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