Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Netherlands: 'Not enough time' to stop Greenpeace's arctic activists
by Staff Writers
Hamburg, Germany (UPI) Nov 13, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The Netherlands says Russia didn't give it enough time to prevent Greenpeace protesters flying the Dutch flag from trying to storm an Arctic Ocean oil rig.

Dutch officials, testifying Monday at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg, Germany, denied Russian accusations of inaction against the protesters, whose ship the Arctic Sunrise was flying Dutch colors Sept. 19 when demonstrators attempted to board a Gazprom oil platform in the Barents Sea.

The Russian coast guard seized the ship and arrested 28 Greenpeace demonstrators and two reporters aboard it.

The Netherlands filed suit at the sea tribunal last month seeking the release of the demonstrators, who initially faced charges of piracy, punishable by up to 17 years in jail. Since then, the lesser charge of hooliganism has been brought, but it was unclear if the piracy charges had been dropped.

Moscow says it was the responsibility of Dutch authorities to detain the Arctic Sunrise, and last week accused them of "inaction" in the run-up to the protest.

But in testimony submitted to the tribunal Monday, the Netherlands claimed the Russians only informed it they intended to arrest the demonstrators one day before the seizure, the Dutch daily De Telegraaf reported.

That made it "impossible for the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to take appropriate action," they wrote.

The statement said the Dutch Environment and Transport Inspectorate conducted an investigation of the ship after receiving word from Russia on Sept. 18 it intended to seize the vessel, and "was prepared to act" after determining the activists had violated several maritime safety rules.

But there wasn't time before the arrests were made, the Netherlands said.

However, it added that Greenpeace was exercising its "freedom of expression, freedom of demonstration and freedom of peaceful protest," and continued to demand the activists' release, claiming Russia violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Russia, meanwhile, argues that the boarding, investigation and impounding of the Arctic Sunrise, and the detention of its crew, were justified because the protesters were within its exclusive economic zone, and has rejected the Hamburg tribunal's jurisdiction in the matter.

Moscow says Greenpeace also allegedly violated domestic Russian laws, but the Netherlands claims that wasn't enough reason to carry out the arrests.

"The detention of the vessel and its crew, irrespective of its conformity with the domestic law of the Russian Federation, is an internationally wrongful act continuing in time," The Hague argued. "The arrest and detention of the persons on board the Arctic Sunrise is not only a breach of the law of the sea, but also of international human rights law."

A decision by the tribunal is expected this month.

Russian authorities began to transfer the "Arctic 30" from Murmansk to St. Petersburg via prison train Monday, Greenpeace said.

"We don't yet know if the relocation of these wrongfully accused people will see an improvement in terms of their detention conditions and basic human rights," Ben Ayliffe, Greenpeace International Arctic campaigner said in a statement. "We are doing everything in our power to ensure that the Arctic 30 are transported in a humane way."


Related Links
Beyond the Ice Age

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Russia moves detained Arctic activists to St Petersburg
Saint Petersburg (AFP) Nov 12, 2013
Russia on Tuesday put 30 crew members of a Greenpeace protest ship in prisons in Saint Petersburg, after moving them from the Arctic Circle city of Murmansk where they have spent weeks in jail amid growing international concern. The move to possibly milder and more comfortable conditions in Russia's second city came amid an apparent intensification of global pressure on Russia over the deten ... read more

NASA's GRAIL Mission Puts a New Face on the Moon

Moon mission yields clues to face of 'man in the moon'

Shanghai-built lunar rover set for lunar landing

Crowdfunded Lunar Spacecraft Reaches Funding Milestone

NASA release 'tour' of ancient, wet Mars as YouTube video

Curiosity Out of Safe Mode

MAVEN Aims To Answer Where Did the Water on Mars Go

Mission to Mars moon could be a sample-return twofer

NASA says new deep space vehicle on time for 2014 test

NASA's Orion Sees Flawless Fairing Separation in Second Test

Lockheed Martin Team Tests Orion's Protective Panels

UCF Lands NASA-Funded Center, Linchpin for Future Space Missions

China shows off moon rover model before space launch

China providing space training

China launches experimental satellite Shijian-16

China Moon Rover A New Opportunity To Explore Our Nearest Neighbor

Russians take Olympic torch on historic spacewalk

Russia launches Sochi Olympic torch into space

Spaceflight Joins with NanoRacks to Deploy Satellites from the ISS

Crew Completes Preparations for Soyuz Move

ASTRA 5B lands in French Guiana for its upcoming Ariane 5 flight

Kazakhstan say Baikonur launch site may be open to Western countries

ESA Swarm launch postponed

Europe's fifth ATV for launch by Arianespace begins its pre-flight checkout at the Spaceport

NASA Kepler Results Usher in a New Era of Astronomy

Astronomers answer key question: How common are habitable planets?

One in five Sun-like stars may have Earth-like planets

Mystery World Baffles Astronomers

Snap to attention: Polymers that react and move to light

Altering surface textures in 'counterintuitive manner' may lead to cooling efficiency gains

Methane-munching microorganisms meddle with metals

Researchers at Penn Add Another Tool in Their Directed Assembly Toolkit

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement