Greenpeace wants Arctic Sunrise crew to be cleared of charges
Greenpeace believes the best way to resolve the situation with the crew of the Arctic Sunrise is to clear the activists of the charges, not amnesty them.
"Theoretically, the Arctic Sunrise crew may become eligible for amnesty," Ivan Blokov, programs director at the Russian office of Greenpeace, told Interfax on Tuesday.
"It's hard for me to say if it's a good solution to the situation or not. I believe a good solution would be to admit that no crime was committed. It's an absurd charge and it's clear to everybody. How can one be amnestied if there is no guilt?" Blokov said.
Mikhail Fedotov, the head of the presidential human rights council, told Interfax earlier on Tuesday that 20,000 people, including many Bolotnaya case suspects and the crew of the Arctic Sunrise, will be eligible for the upcoming amnesty in accordance with the draft amnesty submitted to the State Duma by the president.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently submitted a draft amnesty to the State Duma timed to the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Russian Constitution, which will be marked on December 12.
The crew of the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise was seized by Russian border guards in the Pechora Sea in September. The environmentalists were protesting oil extraction on the oilrig Prirazlomnaya.
The Greenpeace activists were arrested in Murmansk and were later transferred to St. Petersburg, where they were released on bail. The environmentalists are now charged with hooliganism. An investigation is underway.