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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora