Greenpeace activists detained for Arctic oil protest moved to St. Petersburg jail


The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise enters the Northern Sea Route (NSR) off Russia's coastline to protest against Arctic oil drilling, in defiance of Russian authorities. The activists aboard were later detained and jailed pending charges.


Will Rose/Greenpeace

Thirty Greenpeace activists detained in Russia for protesting at an oil rig in the Arctic have been moved to a jail in St. Petersburg.

The activists had been held in a jail in Murmansk, in northern Russia, since their arrests on Sept. 24.

The 28 activists and two journalists in the group had sailed to an oil platform operated by Russian energy company Gazprom in the Pechora Sea, part of the Barents Sea, on a ship called the Arctic Sunrise. There, they attempted to climb the oil platform to protest oil drilling in the Arctic.

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Russian officials have charged the members of the group, who hail from 18 countries, including the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with hooliganism. They face a maximum sentence of seven years in jail if convicted.

The activists were originally charged with piracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail.

It will be easier for families and diplomats to visit the detainees in St. Petersburg, but there are concerns that conditions in the jail may be worse.