Responding to news that Frank Hewetson, a long-term activist with Greenpeace, has been remanded in custody for two months in Russia without charge, Nina Gold, Hewetson's partner, said:
“Frank is an environmental activist trying, on behalf of us all, to defend the Arctic from exploitation by the oil companies through peaceful non violent protest. Two months behind bars without charge is wildly disproportionate and unjust. I would ask the Russian authorities to reconsider this unwarranted and harsh decision. His children and I are very concerned for him but know that he will be cheered by the support of millions of people worldwide which is bringing the destruction of the Arctic to international attention.”
Nina Gold was speaking from London, where the couple live.
Frank Hewetson, along with 27 other activists and a photographer and videographer, was seized onboard the Arctic Sunrise over a week ago in the Arctic ocean. Hewetson made his second appearance in court in Murmansk this morning, accused of suspect piracy.
John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK said:
“The total over-reaction by the Russian authorities to a peaceful non-violent protest in the Arctic Ocean has continued today. The detention of Frank Hewetson for two months in prison while investigations into piracy continue is unacceptable. Even President Putin has publicly stated at a meeting of the Arctic Forum last week that Greenpeace are not pirates. This is an act of intimidation and bullying by the Russian authorities. We will continue to support those who have been imprisoned and their families at this time.
"Greenpeace is appealing these draconian sentences against the 30 people who were on board the Arctic Sunrise.
"In the mean time we will continue to mobilise mass public support for those imprisoned, which has so far seen over 650,000 people write to the Russian government demanding that they let the ‘Arctic 30’ go."
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