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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid