World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


100 days after they were seized Arctic 30 are leaving Russia

100 days after they were seized, Arctic 30 are leaving Russia

St Petersburg, 27 December 2013 – The Arctic 30 are going home. They are leaving Russia today and over the weekend. A plane carrying five Britons and a Canadian took off shortly after 11:30 am local time from St Petersburg airport, heading for Paris. On board are Anthony Perrett, Phil Ball, Iain Rogers, Alex Harris, Kieron Bryan and Alexandre Paul.

Dima Litvinov from Sweden took a train across the border to Finland shortly before midnight on Thursday.

Alex Harris is 27 and from Devon in the UK. Before departing she said:

“We’re leaving Russia, it’s over, we’re finally truly free. It feels like the moment I’ve been waiting for, and my family too, but also for millions of people around the world who have worked for this, and I simply cannot find the words to say how grateful and humbled I am by their support. People I will never meet have campaigned for our release, they wrote emails, they marched, they protested, they made a noise that became deafening, even in the Kremlin. I promise I will repay those people by using my freedom to stand up for the Arctic.”

Fourteen of the Arctic 30 were issued with exit visas yesterday. Eleven more have been issued visas today, leaving just one more to be issued before all 26 non-Russian nationals have an exit visa.

Twenty-eight activists and two freelance journalists were jailed after a peaceful protest at an Arctic oil platform operated by Gazprom. The Greenpeace International ship Arctic Sunrise was boarded by Russian security officers on September 19 and was then towed to Murmansk.

Phil Ball said today:

“We’re celebrating, but I want to say that this should never have happened. One hundred days ago today we were seized in international waters by armed commandos. We faced ridiculous charges, piracy then hooliganism, and spent two months in jail for a crime we didn’t commit. We were guilty of nothing more than having a conscience. We sailed north to peacefully protest against a reckless new industry, because sometimes taking a stand is the only thing you can do. That’s what I feel about Arctic oil drilling, and while I’m now free, we haven’t won the campaign to save the Arctic. We’re closer now, but there’s a still long way to go.”

The activists will continue to leave Russia today. Among them is expected to be Peter Willcox, the captain of the Arctic Sunrise.

Dima Litvinov was the first of the Arctic 30 to leave Russia, crossing the border to Finland by train just before midnight Russian time on Thursday. He said:

“I’ve never regretted what we did, not once, not in prison and definitely not now. Sometimes you just have to stand up and ask to be counted, and that’s what we did in the Arctic. They didn’t throw us in jail for what we did, they locked us up because of what we stood for. The Arctic oil companies are scared of dissent, and they should be. They may have celebrated when our ship was seized, but our imprisonment has been a disaster for them. The movement to save the Arctic is marching now. Our freedom is the start of something, not the end. This is only the beginning. The oil companies are moving north, the world’s climate is changing, the biggest struggles still lie ahead of us.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Whaling: Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research In Defiance Of World Court Ruling

The ICR Today Filed Court Briefs Stating They Intend to Return to Antarctica to Hunt Whales in 2015-2016; Will Seek to Enjoin Other Sea Shepherd Entities from Obstructing Their Operations More>>

Ukraine: UN Urges 'Maximum Restraint' Amid Situation In East Ukraine

Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the 'growing potential' to ... More>>

United Nations: Children Can Now Lodge Complaints With The UN

GENEVA (14 April 2014) – United Nations child rights experts have hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights. More>>

India: Election But A Ritual In Nation Lacking Rule Of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India for their participation to elect the 16th Lok Sabha. The process has attracted, as usual, considerable media attention across the world. Media claims the process to be 'the largest democratic ... More>>

Solomon Islands: Thousands Remain Affected After Flash Floods

An estimated 52,000 people remain affected in the worst-hit areas of Honiara and greater Guadalcanal following last week’s devastating floods which killed at least 23 people. More>>

ALSO:

World: Some 437,000 People Murdered Worldwide In 2012 - UN

Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the United Nations Office on ... More>>

Central African Republic:: Security Council Establishes UN Peacekeeping Mission

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation ... More>>

ALSO:

Parliament: NZ Sending Aid Flight To Solomons

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced further support for the response to severe flooding in Solomon Islands. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news