Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group’s alleged crimes in Iraq

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • Web doc on French self-immolation protests takes top prize

    Read more

Europe

Dutch sue Russia to recover 'pirate' Greenpeace crew

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-10-06

The Netherlands said on Friday that it had launched legal action against Russia to secure the release of the Greenpeace activists charged with piracy. The activist staged a protest at an offshore oil platform in the Arctic.

The Netherlands said Friday it has started legal action to free 30 crew members of Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise, charged by Russia with piracy after a protest against Arctic oil drilling.

"The Netherlands, as the state under whose flag the Arctic Sunrise sails, today started an arbitration process on the basis of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea... against what it sees as the unlawful detention of the ship (and) to have it released and its crew freed," Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said in a letter in parliament.

Russian investigators said on Thursday they have charged all Arctic Sunrise crew members with piracy, an offence that carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years in Russia.

A court in the northern city of Murmansk last week detained the crew members including freelance journalists for two months pending an investigation into their protest on an oil platform owned by energy giant Gazprom last month.

Timmermans wrote that if there was no progress in the next two weeks, the Netherlands could take their case to the Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which makes rulings relating to the convention.

Investigators accused the activists of trying to seize property with threats of violence.

Greenpeace denies the crew members -- who come from 18 different countries including Britain, Russia, New Zealand, Canada and France -- committed any crime.

"Russian officials will now be called to explain their actions before an international court of law, where they will be unable to justify these absurd piracy allegations," Greenpeace International's General Counsel Jasper Teulings said in a statement sent to AFP.

A five-member arbitral tribunal will now be set up, and the Netherlands can ask for the immediate release of the ship and crew as a provisional measure, Greenpeace said.

The September 18 protest saw several activists scale the oil platform in the Barents Sea to denounce Russia's plans to drill in the Arctic.

Russian border guards then lowered themselves onto the Dutch-flagged Arctic Sunrise from a helicopter, locked up the crew and towed the ship to Murmansk located nearly 2,000 kilometres north of Moscow.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-10-04

  • RUSSIA

    Russia charges all 30 Greenpeace activists with piracy

    Read more

  • FRANCE-ATOMIC ENERGY

    Greenpeace activists storm French nuclear plant

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    EDF fined €1.5 million for spying on Greenpeace

    Read more

COMMENT(S)