Daily Archives: October 9, 2013

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim on Religions and Traditions

E120. E130,

Treat on Trade-TPP’s impacts Maine

E120, e145,

As TV changes, where will money come from for quality shows?

E120, media,

Noam Chomsky: Democrats are really moderate Republicans

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Kumi Naidoo – Greenpeace head offers himself as security to win bail for ‘piracy’ activists | Reuters


14:39:00 BST

By Thomas Escritt

AMSTERDAM | Wed Oct 9, 2013 5:03am BST

(Reuters) – The head of Greenpeace offered on Wednesday to move to Russia and stand as security for the release on bail of 30 people who were detained and charged with piracy by Russian authorities after protesting against oil drilling in the Arctic.

The offer was made in a letter written by Kumi Naidoo to Russian President Vladimir Putin that was seen by Reuters and sent on Wednesday. It follows a Russian court’s decision to refuse bail to three of the detainees.

“I would offer myself as a guarantor for the good conduct of the Greenpeace activists, were they to be released on bail,” he wrote in the letter, in which he offered to “move (his) life to Russia for the duration of this affair.”

He added that neither he nor the activists saw themselves as being above the law, and requested an urgent meeting with Putin.

The detainees – 28 Greenpeace activists and two freelance journalists – have been held in the northern Russian port city of Murmansk since authorities arrested them last month as their ship approached an oil platform owned by Gazprom, the big Russian energy company.

Naidoo, who was repeatedly arrested and later driven underground for his role in the struggle against apartheid in his native South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s, said he was prepared to “share the fate” of the Greenpeace activists. They face prison terms of up to 15 years if convicted.

“I do not expect to share their fate, but it is a risk I am willing to take,” he said, adding that the “actions of peaceful protesters” could not be called piracy.

“You … know that in being accused of piracy they are charged with a crime that did not happen,” he told Putin in the letter.

The Netherlands launched legal proceedings against Russia on Friday, saying it had unlawfully detained the activists and others on the Dutch-registered icebreaker Arctic Sunrise.

After the protest, Russian coastguard officers forcibly boarded and seized control of the ship and towed it to Murmansk. Russia has denied Greenpeace’s assertions that the ship had been in international waters when it was seized.

(Reporting By Thomas Escritt; Editing by Philip Barbara)

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

BBC News – ‘Hard drugs found’ on Greenpeace ship seized by Russia


9 October 2013 Last updated at 11:28 ET

The Arctic Sunrise is being held in Russian custody
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Russian investigators say they have found what appear to be hard drugs on board the Greenpeace ship seized during a protest in the Arctic last month.

“During a search of the ship, drugs (apparently poppy straw and morphine) were confiscated,” Russia’s Investigative Committee said.

Poppy straw, or raw opium, can be used to produce morphine or heroin.

Greenpeace said in a statement that any suggestion of illegal drugs being found was a “smear”.

“We can only assume the Russian authorities are referring to the medical supplies that our ships are obliged to carry under maritime law,” it said.

Watch footage of the activists trying to haul themselves on to the rig

Thirty people are being held on suspicion of “piracy” after activists attempted to scale a Russian oil rig.

The head of Greenpeace International, Kumi Naidoo, has written to Russian President Vladimir Putin, offering himself as a guarantee for the detainees.

There is widespread international concern for the crew of the Arctic Sunrise, who hail from 18 nations.

The Netherlands has demanded the immediate release of the detainees, who are being held in the northern port of Murmansk pending trial, as well as the release of their the Dutch-flagged ship.

Six Britons are among those arrested, and UK Foreign Office officials have discussed the case with Russia’s ambassador in the UK, it was reported on Wednesday.

‘Charges may change’

In its statement, the Investigative Committee said charges against some of the detainees might change in the light of evidence gathered from the ship.

Apart from the suspected drugs, “dual-purpose” equipment was found on the Arctic Sunrise, it said, adding that this “could be used not only for ecological purposes”.

Russia’s Arctic offshore oil platform defended – BBC’s Daniel Sandford reports

Investigators would seek to determine who among the detainees was responsible for “deliberately ramming” Russian border guard boats, endangering their lives, it said.

Greenpeace replied: “There is a strict policy against recreational drugs on board Greenpeace ships, and any claim that something other than medical supplies were found should be regarded with great suspicion.

“Before leaving Norway for the Russian Arctic, the ship was searched with a sniffer dog by the Norwegian authorities, as is standard. The laws in Norway are amongst the strictest in the world, and nothing was found because nothing illegal was on the ship.”

“Any claim that illegal drugs were found is a smear, it’s a fabrication, pure and simple,” Greenpeace said.

The organisation went on to dismiss the allegation of ramming as a “fantasy”.

‘Bogus’ claim

In a of its launch and the coast guard boats to show the moment they had touched.

“The Greenpeace boat sails towards the middle of the port side of the security forces boat and then only briefly touches it with the nose, immediately turning away and making a 180° turn to the left,” Greenpeace said.

“The film clearly demonstrates that the official claims are entirely bogus.”

….(read more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Greenpeace International head urges meeting with President Putin | Greenpeace International


Press release – October 9, 2013 Amsterdam, 9 October 2013 – Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo has written to President Vladimir Putin offering to travel to Moscow as early as possible to meet with the Russian President, in an effort to end the continued incarceration of 28 peaceful activists and two freelance journalists.

In the letter, delivered today to the Russian embassy in The Hague, Naidoo offers to move his life to Russia and act as a guarantor for the good conduct of the activists if they are released on bail.

President Putin suggested he was open to dialogue with Greenpeace when he spoke at the recent International Arctic Forum conference in the Russian city of Salekhard. At the meeting President Putin said: “It would have been much better if representatives of this organization were present in this room and would express their opinion on the issues we are discussing, expressed their complaints or demands, rendered their concerns, nobody would ignore that.”

….(read more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120