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November 20, 2013

Russian Authorities Release First of 'Arctic 30' From Jail

A Brazilian ecological activist left a Russian prison Wednesday after being granted bail, becoming the first among a group of Greenpeace members jailed for a protest at an Arctic oil drilling platform 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 with activists aboard, some of whom tried to scale it.

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

Over half of the 30 detainees, known as the "Arctic 30," have now been granted bail.

However, one of the activists, Colin Russell, an Australian, was ordered Wednesday to be held in pre-trial detention another three months.