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


Greenpeace Climate Heroes imprisoned over Xmas

Greenpeace Climate Heroes imprisoned over Christmas and New Year

Amsterdam, 23 December 2009 - Four Greenpeace climate activists will spend Christmas and New Year in Copenhagen prison after the High Court there this afternoon rejected appeals to release them from Danish police custody. The four Climate Heroes from the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Switzerland were arrested following a protest staged during last Thursday's State Banquet hosted by Queen Margrethe II for world leaders attending the Copenhagen climate summit.

Greenpeace condemned the High Court's decision as a further 'climate injustice' on top of world leaders' failure to agree a legally binding treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The organisation is calling on the public to help step up pressure to secure the release of its four activists, as well as other peaceful climate protesters still being held in custody. Despite today's Court ruling, the release of Greenpeace's Climate Heroes remains at the discretion of Denmark's Chief of Police.

"Greenpeace's Climate Heroes were willing to risk their freedom for a cause," said Mads Christensen, Executive Director, Greenpeace Nordic. "We have continually assured the Danish authorities that, like any Greenpeace activist, the four are willing to return to Denmark for their day in court, but the police intend to hold them in custody until 7 January 2010. Preventing them from spending the festive season with their families and loved ones is effectively a punishment without trial and has the appearance of a vindictive act. It is unnecessary and totally out of proportion to what they did. We hope people everywhere will join the call for their release and also make their own, smaller, efforts to act against climate change."

Posing as a 'Head of State', his 'wife' and a security detail, three of the activists were waved through the security cordon around last Thursday's dinner for Heads of State, immediately prior to the crucial final day of the Copenhagen climate summit. They delivered a message to leaders about the urgent need to act to protect the world's climate. The 'Head of State' and his 'wife' unfurled banners reading, "Politicians Talk, Leaders Act". A fourth activist was later arrested.

Leaders failed to heed Greenpeace's call. The summit ended in failure by agreeing only to note the 'Copenhagen Accord', an empty document containing no legally binding commitments for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

In order to close the police investigation into its four activists, Greenpeace has been co-operating with Danish police and has provided police with full details of the activity. For security reasons, the full details will not be made public.

Even so, Greenpeace outlined that the protest was not a sophisticated operation. It relied entirely on simple, readily-available materials and had elements of farce. For instance, Greenpeace logos displayed on the windscreens of limousines hired by Greenpeace to arrive at the banquet were in one case wedged in place by a pair of socks. One of the car number plates included '007' - a reference to James Bond. Blue 'police' lights on top of another vehicle were purchased for DKK 50 (Euro 6.70) via the internet.

Reflecting on the failed summit, Mads Christensen said, "Over the past 20 years, our leaders have done virtually nothing to combat climate change. The Copenhagen climate summit was the moment for decisive action. But our leaders failed us. They failed to agree a legally binding treaty to prevent the Earth from warming beyond the crucial threshold of 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. Beyond this, we can expect impacts to severely affect the survival and well-being of millions of people and countless species. Failure to take action to protect the climate is not an option. The four Climate Heroes provide an inspiration to everyone."


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN News: UN Strongly Condemns Knife Attack Inside Nice Church Which Left Three Dead

The UN Secretary-General on Thursday strongly condemned a knife attack inside a French church in the southern French city of Nice, which reportedly left three worshippers dead. In a statement released by his Spokesperson, António Guterres extended his ... More>>

ALRANZ: Denounces US Senate Confirmation Of Judge Barrett

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa denounces the US Senate’s confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court seat formerly held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. “This action demonstrates the rank hypocrisy of the once-respected upper chamber ... More>>

UN News: Millions Affected As Devastating Typhoon Strikes Viet Nam

A major typhoon has struck central Viet Nam, affecting millions of people – including about 2.5 million children – in a region already reeling from the effects of severe floods, according to UN agencies in the country. There are also reports that 174 ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>