Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Fed chair calls for 'pragmatic' US approach to inflation

    Read more

  • Gunmen kill scores in Iraqi Sunni mosque attack

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    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)