‘No regrets’ as environmental activist arrives home

28-year-old Marco Weber was imprisoned for more than three months Keystone

The Swiss Greenpeace activist Marco Weber has spoken about the more than three months he spent behind bars in a Russian prison for protesting at a Gazprom-operated Arctic oil platform in September.

This content was published on December 31, 2013 - 13:27
swissinfo.ch and agencies

Weber was one of the “Arctic 30” environmental campaigners imprisoned along with two journalists. Initially accused of piracy, the charges were later downgraded to hooliganism and then dropped altogether in mid-December.

He spoke to the press in Zurich on Tuesday morning after a 50-hour train journey home, saying he didn’t want to travel by aeroplane.

“I’m certain that it did a lot to put this issue on the public agenda,” said Weber. He added that Russia’s severe reaction to their protest was part of the reason why so much attention could be attracted to their cause.

The activist was informed about the possible legal consequences before he went ahead with the protest: “I was aware that it could lead to imprisonment,” he said.

He added that the final decision to take part was down to the individual and that he would do it again. Weber acknowledged that for legal reasons, there was no point in him returning to Russia.

Weber was freed as part of a new amnesty law in Russia, which qualified 25,000 other prisoners for release, including two members of the punk band Pussy Riot.

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