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Greenpeace Vows to Appeal Russian Detentions

Greenpeace says it will appeal the Russian court rulings jailing 30 of its activists in connection with a protest earlier this month at an off-shore Arctic drilling platform.

Friday's decision to contest the rulings comes a day after a court in the northern city of Murmansk ordered 22 crew members of Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise icebreaker to pre-trial detention for two months, while authorities conduct an investigation.

Eight other crew were detained for a further hearing set for Sunday. No charges had been filed against any of the activists by early Saturday.

The Greenpeace activists were detained after a September 18 protest at an oil platform owned by the Russian state energy giant, Gazprom.

A Greenpeace statement cited what it called "Gazprom's recklessness" in energy exploration, and said its "peaceful activists are in prison for shining a light" on those alleged misdeeds.

The detainees include six Britons, four Russians, and nationals from 16 other countries, including the ship's American captain, Peter Wilcox.



Wilcox was the captain of the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior when it was bombed and sunk in 1986 by French agents in New Zealand to prevent the ship from interfering with a French nuclear test in the South Pacific.

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