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epa03961164 Captain of the 'Arctic Sunrise' ship Peter Henry Willcox of the USA leaves prison as he is released on bail from SIZO 1 detention center in St. Petersburg, Russia, 22 November 2013. 28 activists and two journalists on board the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise were arrested in September 2013 after an attempt to seize an oil rig in the remote Pechora Sea. On 21 November, Ten activists and one freelance journalist walked out of detention centres in St Petersburg after Greenpeace paid 2 million roubles (61,000 US dollars) bail apiece, the organization said. St Petersburg courts continued to hear bail requests for the activists on 22 November. EPA/ANATOLY MALTSEV
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

More 'Sunrise' activists freed

November 22, 2013

Russian authorities have released 13 more crew members of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, including its captain, Peter Willcox. They were jailed on charges of 'hooliganism.'


Russia releases Greenpeace crew on bail

Peter Willcox, the captain of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, was released from a St. Petersburg prison on Friday, along with 13 further crew members, taking the total number of those released to 24. The Russian authorities said on Friday that 29 of the 30 crew had been granted bail.

"I feel like I'm down out of the tree but still in the forest," Willcox told journalists. "But it's a big step."

The activists were freed after Greenpeace paid bail of 60,750 dollars each (45,000 euros). But they still have to face charges, carrying a potential a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

In total, 30 activists had been detained for more than two months over a protest against Arctic oil drilling. They were arrested and put in jail for a protest at a Russian oil rig, where some members tried to board the platform.

The jailing of the activists was widely condemned and prompted calls for their release by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other Western leaders.

Also on Friday, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg ruled Russia should provisionally release Greenpeace's vessel, the Arctic Sunrise, and the 30 detainees. The Netherlands brought the case to the Tribunal, which ruled 19 to 2 in favor. Russia, however, had said it would not accept the tribunal's decision.

ng, ph/msh (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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