Activist remains behind Russian bars

Marco Paolo Weber is one of the 'Arctic 30' Keystone

Swiss Greenpeace activist Marco Paolo Weber has been denied bail by a court in Murmansk, the Swiss branch of the environmental organisation and Russian news agency TASS confirmed on Monday.

This content was published on October 21, 2013 and agencies

A Finnish colleague was also denied bail. Both will have to stay in prison until November 24 along with other members of the “Arctic 30”. They are in custody charged with piracy – punishable by up to 15 years in jail – after being caught on board the Arctic Sunrise on September 18.

The Dutch-registered icebreaker was seized by Russian security forces after some activists tried to scale the Prirazlomnaya oil platform, owned by Russia’s state giant Gazprom and a key element in Russia’s plan to tap into the Arctic’s resources.

Russian coastguards forcibly boarded the ship after the protest and towed it to the northern port city of Murmansk, where all aboard were arrested.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the 30 detainees, who come from 18 countries, are not pirates, although their protest violated the law, and his human rights aide has urged the law enforcement bodies to drop the piracy charges.

Russia’s top investigative body has said the activists may face fresh charges after it alleged drugs were found on the Arctic Sunrise. Greenpeace denies there were any illegal items aboard.

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