News / Europe

Detained Greenpeace Activists Leave Russia After Receiving Amnesty

  • Greenpeace International activist Captain Peter Willcox of the U.S. leaves the departure lounge at St. Petersburg airport, St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 27, 2013.
  • Greenpeace activists Iain Rogers (L), Anthony Perrett (2nd L), Alexandra Harris (2nd R), Phillip Ball (R) and video cameraman Kieron Bryan (C) pose for photographers after arriving at St. Pancras station in central London, England, Dec. 27, 2013.
  • Greenpeace employee Daphane Christelis (L) greets Greenpeace activist Phillip Ball as he arrives at St. Pancras station in central London, England, Dec. 27, 2013.
  • Anthony Perrett, an activist and one of the 30 Greenpeace crew arrested in the Russian Arctic, talks to the media after he arrives back in London, England, Dec. 27, 2013.
  • Greenpeace International activist Faiza Oulahsen of the Netherlands arrives at St. Petersburg airport to catch a flight after receiving her exit visa from the Federal Migration Service, St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 27, 2013.
  • Video cameraman Kieron Bryan (2nd R) poses for a photograph with his mother Ann (2nd L), father Andy (L) and brother Russel after arriving at St. Pancras station in central London, England, Dec. 27, 2013.
  • Greenpeace activist Alexandra Harris, who was one of the 30 crew arrested by Russian authorities, speaks to the media after arriving in London, England, Dec. 27, 2013.
  • Video cameraman Kieron Bryan hugs his mother Ann after arriving at St. Pancras station in central London, England, Dec. 27, 2013.
  • Greenpeace International activist Mannes Ubels of Netherlands celebrates getting permission to leave Russia, near the Federal Migration Service, St.Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 26, 2013.
Russia Releases Greenpeace Activists
VOA News
Six Greenpeace activists five Britons and one Canadian have left Russia after being granted amnesty on charges of hooliganism.
 
The activists left Russia on Friday, after more than two months in detention in connection with a September protest at a Russian oil rig in the Arctic Sea.

"It's over," Briton Alex Harris told reporters. "We're finally, truly free." 
 
The first of the 30 people detained in that September 19 protest was released Thursday. Swedish citizen Dima Litvinov said after his release that he did not regret speaking out or being arrested.
 
The rest of the activists are set to be released from detention in St. Petersburg in the coming days. Russia dropped charges against the activists earlier this week under heavy pressure from Western nations. 
 
Critics say dropping the charges is an attempt by Russia to improve its public image ahead of the winter Olympic Games to be held in February in the Russian resort city of Sochi.
 
The Russian government has released a number of high-profile prisoners in the past week, including oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the last two jailed members of the Pussy Riot band.  
 
Greenpeace says crew members of its ship Arctic Sunrise had been peacefully protesting at a Russian oil rig when they were arrested. The protest was aimed at drawing attention to the environmental threat of oil drilling. 
 
The 28 Greenpeace activists and two freelance journalists were initially charged with piracy. The charges were later downgraded to hooliganism, which carries a potential 7-year prison sentence.

"Thanks for having us, you know, St. Petersburg is a beautiful, wonderful city," said released activist Briton Anthony Perrett. "We are still very much concerned about invasive drilling in the Arctic. the campaign won't stop, we'll take a breather, but the ultimate goal is to stop drilling in the Arctic, so we are going to carry on.''

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs