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Greenpeace International says Arctic Sunrise ship released

June 06, 2014, 19:26 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
“Our main priority now is to get the ship checked by independent surveyors to assess the level of damage,” the organisation says
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© EPA /Greenpeace /Andrew MacColl /HA

ST. PETERSBURG, June 06. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s investigative committee has annulled the arrest of Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise ship, detained after the September 2013 storming of a Russian Arctic oil facility, the environmental group told ITAR-TASS on Friday.

Greenpeace International lawyers already visited the vessel and signed an acceptance certificate, noting that the ship had not been examined yet.

“Our main priority now is to get the ship checked by independent surveyors to assess the level of damage,” the organisation said, adding that it was unlikely that the Arctic Sunrise would be able to leave Russia in the next few days.

According to Greenpeace International, the Russian authorities have not returned yet essential navigation gear removed from the ship in the course of investigations.

The organisation said earlier the committee had extended its investigation into the protest at the Prirazlomnaya platform by two months, until July 24th in order to examine equipment found on the ship.

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© Greenpeace/TASS TV
Twenty-eight activists and two freelance journalists were arrested by Russian authorities after they attempted to scale Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil rig 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 activists were released on bail. In December last year, Russia formally dropped criminal charges against all the crew, released under a Kremlin-backed amnesty. All the 26 foreign activists returned home by the end of last year.

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