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Russia Grants Bail to Last Member of Arctic 30

  • VOA News

Greenpeace International activist and the Arctic Sunrise ship radio operator Colin Russell of Australia is shown behind bars on a TV screen during a court hearing in St. Petersburg, Russia, Nov. 28, 2013.

Greenpeace International activist and the Arctic Sunrise ship radio operator Colin Russell of Australia is shown behind bars on a TV screen during a court hearing in St. Petersburg, Russia, Nov. 28, 2013.

A Russian court has granted bail to the last remaining Greenpeace protester who had been detained during a protest at an off shore oil drilling rig in the Arctic.

The court in St. Petersburg set bail Thursday for Australian Colin Russell at $60,000.

The bail announcement was a surprise, because on Wednesday Russell was ordered to be held in pre-trial detention another three months. He was the only activist out of 30 who was refused his initial bail request. Russia has not explained why.

Also Wednesday, a Brazilian ecological activist left a Russian prison after being granted bail, becoming the first Greenpeace member to be released from detention.

Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel walked out of a women's prison in St. Petersburg after a city court granted her bail.

Courts in St. Petersburg granted bail to several other Greenpeace activists Wednesday. Among them was Peter Willcox, the American captain of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, which, on September 18, approached Russia's only offshore oil production platform in the Arctic. Some of the activists on board the vessel tried to scale the platform.

Russian authorities intercepted the vessel and arrested 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists on the ship.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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