Russian NYET! to Greenpeace’s Dutch appeal

Russia has announced that it will boycott any international tribunals which seek jurisdiction over the detention of Greenpeace’s diesel-powered ice breaker Arctic Sunrise and the thirty campaigners aboard during the failed boarding of an oil platform.

Arctic Sunrise is a DuGreenpeace boarders surrounded by Russian security 2tch flagged vessel.  Greenpeace has stated that Russia has failed to adequately maintain Arctic Sunrise since those aboard were removed.  Greenpeace successfully motivated the Netherlands to begin legal proceedings in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea seeking the release of the ship and those aboard her, all of whom have been charged with piracy and await trial in and around Murmansk.  Russia has announced, however, that it will boycott the tribunals and ignore any attempt to assert international law over Russian federal law.  Russia views any such attempts as impositions upon its sovereignty.

The Russian foreign ministry did, however, indicate that while it rejects international legal proceedings or arbitration, Russia “remains open to settling the arising situation.”  A settlement seems Greenpeace’s best option.  Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his opinion that the Greenpeace campaigners are law breakers, but not pirates.  Further, Putin’s human rights advisor has recommended that the piracy charges be dropped, calling the piracy charge “laughable.”

While Greenpeace’s long-time use of lawless tactics to promote goals that in themselves hinder human freedom are deplorable and worthy of legal action, the piracy charge certainly seems overblown.

Having so many weighing in against the piracy charges both within Russia and without (count CFACT among them) should cheer Greenpeace’s detained campaigners.  However, two stark facts remain.  Widespread condemnation has so far failed to obtain the release of members of the punk band “Pussy Riot” who were jailed for hooliganism after staging an anti-Putin protest, and once charged, the conviction rate in Russia’s legal system exceeds 99 percent.

Greenpeace Alexandra Harris behind russian barsGreenpeace campaigner Alexandra Harris wrote in a letter to her parents that she is “trying very, very hard not to lose hope” during her time behind bars in Russia.  “Surely my future isn’t rotting in a prison in Murmansk?! Well, I really hope it isn’t…  It’s very cold now. It snowed last night. The blizzard blew my very poorly insulated window open and I had to sleep wearing my hat. I’m nervous about spending winter here. I have a radiator in my cell but it’s the Arctic breeze that makes the place very cold. I heard that from December Murmansk is dark for six weeks. God, I hope I’m out by then.”

Greenpeace conducts its Arctic activities during the late summer when conditions are at their most favorable.  Despite Greenpeace rhetoric, world temperatures have not risen since the nineties and not much before that.  If Russian authorities do not yield soon, the thirty detained Greenpeace campaigners may be forced to learn the hard way just how cold the frozen North truly is.

CFACT drops banner on Arctic SunriseClick to watch CFACT drop the banner on

Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise and Rainbow Warrior








About the Author: CFACT Ed

  1. PoliticalLAW

    One issue is that the Dutch and Greenpeace have tried to work together for political ends, to extend protest in universal terms into maritime law. People think of this incident, but the issues with Greenpeace, Russia and the Dutch have been going on all summer. The icing on the cake and self admission was reference to political declarations in the arbitration paperwork by the Dutch. They (Dutch) self proved themselves that their actions and case is politically motivated – ITLOS should not stand for this anyway! Another issue is this case is clearly one of law enforcement, even argued under a head of protest, every ordinary citizen, and any court knows that protests are governed by provisions of law enforcement. Once this is the case, and it is, they (Russians) do not need join the arbitration full stop, if they did they would be going against exceptions they had already signed when joining the UNCLOS scheme – its all or nothing, stepping in the room and you join arbitration. So they (Russians) have no way to let the tribunal decide on jurisdiction, because they cannot join (their perogative), it is a technical catch 22. Has justice been denied, well not in terms of these protesters facing law and order, not in terms of preserving the non interference between parties at sea, not in terms of ensuring a safe environment for oil workers, officals and even the ‘protesters’ themselves. Its only any subsequent disproportianate sentence that could create unfairness. For that we need wait and see.

  2. ja_1410

    Since the Pussy Riot incident no one violated peace in the Moscow Church. After this incident leftist hooligans will not bother Russian oil platforms either. They should rot in jail and the ship should be confiscated by Russia as a tool used to commit crime.

  3. Ray

    LOL the silly moonbats. I worked in the North for years in the oil and gas industry. The lovely little flower is about to have a relationship with reality. If she thinks it’s cold now.. -60 is well beyond cold.

  4. Freeman Henry

    A vehicle involved in the commission of a crime would be routinely seized & crushed in liberal England . That would address any concerns about getting inadequate maintenance too.

  5. Freeman Henry

    I’m really sorry that these kids got caught up in this, but Russia has no jurisdiction over the perpetrators, the Directors of Greenpeace, so these gullible pawns will be doing the time.

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