Greenpeace protests worldwide for release of activists held in Russia

From Hong Kong’s harbour to London and Toronto, supporters of Captain Pete Wilcox and his crew of imprisoned Greenpeace activists are sending a message to Russia today: “Free the Arctic 30.”

Piracy charges facing 30 people after last month’s oil drilling protest targeting a rig owned by Russia’s state-controlled company Gazprom have sparked outrage worldwide, including Down Under.The group includes citizens of 18 nations including an Australian. The country’s foreign minister has already broached the matter with Russia.

Speaking in the Indonesian resort island of Bali, where she is attending the APEC meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said: “I raised with Deputy Prime Minister Morgulov, Australia’s concern about the case. I registered our interest in the case and I discussed with him arrangements that are being made for consular assistance that has been in place for some time but also our concerns about the charge of piracy.”

The 30, including a British videographer and a Russian photographer, are being held in the Russian city of Murmansk, awaiting trial. With two Dutch nationals in the group, the Netherlands has launched legal action, saying that Russia has unlawfully detained those on the Dutch-registered Greenpeace ship.