Twenty eight Greenpeace activists and a freelance video journalist and a photographer were formally charged with piracy under Article 227 of the Russian Criminal Code on October 2nd and 3rd, 2013. The maximum sentence, if convicted, is 15 years in a Russian jail.
The 28 Greenpeace activists and the two journalists, now known as the Arctic 30, protested against oil drilling in the Arctic on September 18, 2013 in Russia’s Pechora Sea. Two Greenpeace International activists attempted to climb the side of an oil platform operated by Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom to hang a banner, when they were stopped at gunpoint by the Russian Coast Guard. The activists were protesting against Gazprom becoming the first company to produce oil from the fragile Arctic region. Subsequently, all 28 activists and the two journalists were arrested by the Russian authorities and they have all now been charged with piracy.
Condemning the arrest of the activists, Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo said, "I call on people across the world to stand with us against Gazprom and all oil companies who want to drill in the Arctic, join us in this fight against bullies of the very worst kind.”
The photographs in this slideshow show the sequence of events leading to peaceful activists being charged with piracy by the Russian authorities.
Courtesy of Greenpeace India