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ST. PETERSBURG, January 13. /ITAR-TASS/. International environmental organization Greenpeace is considering applying to the European Court of Human Rights despite the fact that Russia has dropped criminal charges against 30 crew members of the Greenpeace protest ship Arctic Sunrise, Andrey Suchkov, a lawyer for the detained environmentalists, said on Monday.
“This issue is still on the agenda,” he said. “The matter is now in the hands of Greenpeace’s lawyers in Amsterdam (where the organization has its headquarters).”
Suchkov added that even though all the “Arctic 30” activists who stormed the Russian drilling rig in northern waters were amnestied at the end of 2013, the criminal case had not been closed yet. The campaign group’s ship, The Arctic Sunrise, was still under arrest, he noted.
The 28 activists and two freelance journalists were arrested by Russian authorities in September 2013 after they attempted to scale Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oilrig in the Barents Sea.
They were seized by Russian security guards and their vessel was towed to the port of Murmansk. The protesters - nationals of 18 countries and four Russians - were initially taken into custody on charges of piracy, later downgraded to hooliganism.
After two months in a Russian jail the Greenpeace activists have been released on bail. In December 2013, Russia formally dropped criminal charges against all crew aboard the ship, released under a Kremlin-backed amnesty. All 26 foreign activists managed to return home by the end of the last year.