22 November 2013, 19:24

Arctic Sunrise case is not within UN court's jurisdiction - Russia

Arctic Sunrise case is not within UN court's jurisdiction - Russia

Russia on Friday said an international maritime tribunal, that ruled against it in a case brought by the Netherlands, had no jurisdiction over its criminal prosecution of 30 people arrested for a Greenpeace protest over Arctic oil drilling.

"The Russian side proceeds on the basis that the situation with the Arctic Sunrise does not fall under the jurisdiction of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea," the ministry said in a statement on its website.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued the statement after the Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea said it had accepted a Dutch request to order the provisional release of the Dutch-registered ship, Arctic Sunrise, and its crew.

Russia cannot release Arctic Sunrise due to court rulings - source

Russia cannot release the Arctic Sunrise vessel operated by Greenpeace, as demanded by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, because the vessel's apprehension has been authorized by court rulings that have taken legal effect, said a Russian law enforcement source.

"We cannot release the Arctic Sunrise, because a court has made a decision on this matter, which was upheld by a higher court," the source said.

"As concerns the members of this vessel's crew, the restrictive measure imposed on them is being amended now and they are being released on bail," the source said.

International maritime court demands that Russia free Arctic Sunrise crew

An international maritime tribunal on Friday ordered Russia to release a Greenpeace ship and 30 people arrested in a protest against Russian Arctic oil drilling.

The Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea said it had accepted a request from the Netherlands to order the provisional release of the Dutch-registered ship, Arctic Sunrise and its crew, which Russia detained on Sept. 18, sparking international protests.

Russia has previously said it will not accept the tribunal's decision.

Tribunal president, judge Judge Shunji Yanai of Japan, said the application from the Netherlands for the provisional release was accepted by the votes of 19 judges to two.

Arctic Sunrise case: 26 detainees leave St. Petersburg pre-trial detention center

A total of 26 Arctic Sunrise detainees have walked out of St. Petersburg pre-trial detention centers so far.

On Friday Gizem Akhan of Turkey, Ruslan Yakushev of Ukraine, Alexandre Paul of Canada, Hernan Miguel Perez Orsi of Argentina, Alexandra Harris, Iain Rogers and Frank Hewetson, all from the United Kingdom, Jonathan Beauchamp of New Zealand have been released from custody on Friday, Greenpeace said on Twitter.

Earlier on Friday Arctic Sunrise captain Peter Willcox of the United States, and activists Kieron Bryan of the UK, Mannes Ubels of the Netherlands, Paul Ruzycki of Canada, Faiza Oulahsen of the Netherlands, Anthony Perrett of the United Kingdom and Marco Weber of Switzerland walked out of St. Petersburg pre-trial detention centers.

Eleven people were released on Thursday from pre-trail detention centers.

St. Petersburg courts ordered the release on bail of 29 Arctic Sunrise activists so far. The only person whose custody was extended was crewmember Colin Russell.

Thirty environmentalists traveling aboard the Arctic Sunrise vessel of the Greenpeace international nature conservancy organization were detained in the Pechora Sea on September 19 for an attempt to stage a protest against drilling at the Prirazlomnaya oil platform. They were brought to Murmansk where a court sentenced them to two months in jail. All the Arctic Sunrise environmentalists were transferred to detention facilities in St. Petersburg on November 12.

Read more:

- First Arctic Sunrise activist granted bail on Friday

- Putin believes Greenpeace's goals are noble but its methods wrong

- Another Greenpeace activists leave St. Petersburg pre-trial detention center

- Greenpeace activists scale Montreal Biosphere to support fellows jailed in Russia

Voice of Russia, Interfax, AFP

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