‘Save the Arctic, Free Our Activists’: Greenpeace India

Activists protest outside the Russian Embassy in New Delhi to deliver a letter to the Russian ambassador demanding the release of 30 Greenpeace activists in the Arctic by the Russian authorities

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

New Delhi, September 20, 2013 — A group of Greenpeace activists led a peaceful protest outside the Russian embassy in New Delhi today and delivered a letter to the ambassador demanding the immediate release of the activists and crew arrested in the Arctic by the Russian authorities yesterday. The activists carried placards with the message, ‘Save the Arctic – Free our activists’, outside the embassy.

‘Save the Arctic, Free Our Activists’: Greenpeace IndiaIt is now over 12 hours since Greenpeace International has had any contact with the ship, which appears to be heading west towards the Russian territorial waters. Greenpeace International has not received any formal confirmation of possible charges, and the activists have been denied access to legal or consular assistance. Over 20 Greenpeace offices are organising protests at Russian embassies around the world today.

“Greenpeace International is in the Russian Arctic to bear witness and express non-violent opposition towards oil companies’ destructive and reckless oil drilling plans. Our peaceful protest was met with extreme and disproportionate force from the Russian Coast Guard, who on Wednesday fired 11 warning shots at our ship, the MY Arctic Sunrise, and threatened our activists with knives and guns. As an organisation committed to absolute nonviolence, we find it deplorable to experience such a form of illegal intimidation and strongly condemn such behavior.” said Samit Aich, Executive Director, Greenpeace India.

The head of Greenpeace International’s Arctic oil campaign, Ben Ayliffe, said: “The safety of our activists remains our top priority and we are working hard to establish what is facing them. They have done nothing to warrant this level of aggression and have been entirely peaceful throughout. In our last phone call with the ship, the crew said that their spirit remains high and they have been boosted by messages of support from thousands of people who stand with them to oppose dangerous Arctic oil drilling. “The real threat to the Russian Arctic comes not from the crew of the Arctic Sunrise but from Gazprom, one of the most reckless oil companies in the world today.”

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