World News

Russia Grants Bail to Seven Jailed Greenpeace Activists

A Russian court has granted bail to seven foreign Greenpeace activists jailed for a protest at an Arctic offshore oil drilling platform.

The court in St. Petersburg set bail at $61,000 for each of the activists Tuesday. It is unclear whether they will be able to leave the country after the bail is paid.

On Monday, another court in St. Petersburg said bail would be granted to three Russians who had been on board the ship, but extended the pre-trial detention of an Australian activist.

Twenty-eight Greenpeace activists and two journalists were arrested on September 18 after their vessel approached Russia's only offshore oil production platform in the Arctic and activists tried to scale it.

Russia's Investigative Committee dismissed Greenpeace's claim that it was acting peacefully, saying an attempt to seize an oil rig is a crime.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month he did not think the Greenpeace protest was an act of piracy, but added that he believes it violated international law.

More than 40 international environmental groups have signed a petition asking President Putin to release the boat and its crew.

Last year, Greenpeace activists boarded the same rig and hoisted a protest banner.

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