ST. PETERSBURG, November 15, (ITAR-TASS) - Transfer of all 30 arrested Greenpeace activists from the north Russian port of Murmansk to St. Petersburg could indicate that the prosecution intended to change the measure of restraint, Russia's human rights ombudsman said on Friday.
Milkhail Fedotov, chairman of the Human Rights Council under the Russian president, said “I believe it was very correct to transfer them to St. Petersburg". "I think that soon we will see a positive decision on them,” Fedotov told St. Petersburg reporters.
He said the Human Rights Council had asked the leadership of the Russian Investigative Committee to change the terms of detention.
“The Investigative Committee is now authorised to change the measure of restraint,” he said, adding that he believed the activists had been transferred to St. Petersburg in preparation for that.
“And then the issue may be calmly dropped. This theme has no legal solution, but can be solved diplomatically and politically, and I am confident that such a solution will be reached now,” Fedotov said.The campaigners have been detained since September when their ship, Arctic Sunrise, sailed to the oil rig Prirazlomnaya, in Russian Arctic waters.
They were intercepted by border guards who halted their bid to scale the structure and their vessel was towed to Murmansk where they faced court proceedings. They were ordered to be detained until November 24, first charged with piracy but then with a lesser offence of hooliganism.