Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canadian activist duo home soon

  • Print

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- It was hoped two Canadian Greenpeace activists would return home by the weekend after Russia dropped charges against them following a protest outside an oil rig in the Arctic.

A Greenpeace spokesman confirmed Wednesday Alexandre Paul of Montreal and Paul Ruzycki of Port Colborne, Ont., were among 29 members of the group who had their criminal cases closed under an amnesty that was passed by Russian parliament earlier this month.

"The families are really relieved. This news is the best Christmas present that the families of the activists could receive," Diego Creimer said in a phone interview.

'The families are really relieved. This news is the best Christmas present that the families of the activists could receive'

The move has been seen by many as an attempt by the Kremlin to dampen criticism of Russia's human rights record before the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

Paul and Ruzycki were held in custody for two months along with their fellow activists before they were released in November pending trial.

They were originally charged with piracy, but that was downgraded to hooliganism.

Greenpeace says the activists who have had their cases closed have already applied to the Russian authorities for exit visas to leave the country and expect to get them in the next few days.

The two Canadians have all they need to return home, Creimer said.

"Now we're down to the logistics, basically booking flights," he said. "We're expecting the two Canadian Greenpeace activists to be arriving in Canada by this weekend."

Greenpeace said one member of the group from Italy failed to get his case closed due to the lack of an interpreter and will have to visit the St. Petersburg branch of Russia's investigative committee again today.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has questioned the Greenpeace protesters' intentions to protect the Arctic and alleged that they were trying to hurt Russia's economic interests.

He said earlier this month he did not mind that charges against the Greenpeace team were dropped under the amnesty, but that he hoped "this will not happen again."

The activists on board the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise were originally charged with piracy when some of them attempted to scale an offshore drilling platform belonging to the state-owned natural gas giant Gazprom. The charges were later downgraded to hooliganism before the amnesty was approved.

Greenpeace had maintained the charges were absurd.

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 26, 2013 A18

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Body pulled from river is missing 15-year-old girl

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two Canadian geese perch themselves for a perfect view looking at the surroundings from the top of a railway bridge near Lombard Ave and Waterfront Drive in downtown Winnipeg- Standup photo- May 01, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Young goslings jostle for position to take a drink from a puddle in Brookside Cemetery Thursday morning- Day 23– June 14, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you agree with the mandatory helmet law for cyclists under 18?

View Results

Ads by Google