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Swiss Greenpeace activist granted bail

Marco Weber, pictured here, and 29 other activists have been in captivity for more than two months Keystone/GREENPEACE DENIS SINYAKOV

Marco Weber, the Swiss Greenpeace activist arrested by Russian authorities more than two months ago following a protest at an Arctic oil platform, will be released on bail along with 20 fellow protesters.

This content was published on November 20, 2013 - 19:11
swissinfo.ch and agencies

In total, 30 protestors were arrested on September 18 after launching a protest on the Prirazlomnoye oil platform, run by the Russian state-owned Gazprom, from aboard Greenpeace’s “Arctic Sunrise” vessel.

According to Greenpeace Switzerland, the 28-year-old Weber was granted bail Wednesday upon payment of two million Russian roubles, or CHF55,000. However, he and the other activists granted bail are not expected to be released from prison before the weekend due to beaurocratic issues yet to be resolved. 

News of Weber's bail was first announced via Twitter.

Despite the most of the protesters being granted bail, Greenpeace has said many questions remain about the protesters’ futures.

"We have no idea under what conditions our friends will live when they are released, whether they will be under house arrest or if they will have the right to leave,” the organisation’s executive director, Kumi Naidoo, said on Tuesday.

The 30 protesters aboard the Arctic Sunrise were arrested by Russian officials near the oli platform and charged with piracy after their boat was towed to the port of Murmansk. Later, the piracy charge was reduced to “hooliganism”, which carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years.

During his captivity, Weber described in a letter the difficult conditions he and the other protesters were being held in, with extremely cold temperatures and daily walks which were “demeaning” in nature. “The room is dirty and wet,” he said of where he was being held.

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