Thursday, 19 December 2013

The Arctic 30 have been granted amnesty!

Photo credit: Greenpeace

Great news this week: the 28 Arctic Sunrise crew members and two freelance journalists who were arrested in September in international waters and then imprisoned for two months in Russia have been granted amnesty by the Russian parliament. Obviously this is a huge relief for them, their friends and families, and hopefully it might mean that they can get home for Christmas. However, the reason that they were out there on board the Greenpeace ship was to try to protect the Arctic from oil exploration, and with that there is so much more that needs to be done.

First of all, however, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped put pressure on their Russian embassies for the release of the Arctic 30, particularly friends and family who put up with repeated emails from me on the subject, everyone who came out to the many protests around the world, including here in Edinburgh at the Russian consulate and down in London at the Russian embassy, and those who wrote to their elected representatives to get them freed.

This is not the end of the story by a long way. As captain of the Arctic Sunrise, Pete Wilcox, said, "There's no amnesty for the Arctic." We've still got a lot of work to do before we've saved the Arctic, but we should all feel relieved that those who went out on the ship to work towards doing that will be home soon, and remember that it's down to us to help carry on their good work into the new year.

Photo credit: Malena Persson

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