Presidential Human Rights Council appeals to Chaika and Bastrykin to drop charges against Greenpeace activists

posted 22 Oct 2013, 09:30 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 22 Oct 2013, 09:38 ]
21 October 2013 

Source: (info)
The Presidential Council for Human Rights has appealed to the head of the Investigative Committee Aleksandr Bastrykin and to the Prosecutor General Yury Chaika to dismiss the Greenpeace case and release the activists.

The Presidential Human Rights Council considers the charges to be unlawful and unsound. The text of the appeal emphasises that the actions of the Artic Sunrise passengers show no evidence of piracy and there is nothing to suggest that the Greenpeace members aimed to seize the platform, Greenpeace reports.

The appeal reasonably points out that “it is clear that the activists had no intention to seize control of the platform; there is no cause for doubt that not only was this not their aim, but that they also clearly understood that this would be impossible.”

An assessment of the situation conducted by the Council registers the violations that have marked the case.

“With regards to many of the activists, including the ship’s doctor, Russian citizen Ekaterina Zaspa, and the ship’s cook, Ukrainian citizen Ruslana Yakusheva, the judicial investigation was launched after the period of detention (48 hours) had expired. Nevertheless, these activists were not released but rather the decision was taken to detain them,” remarked Tamara Zlotnikova, doctor of Juridical Science, who compiled the document.

Other infringements include the incorrect calculation of the period of detention, the interrogation of one of the detainees without a lawyer present (this gross violation of the detainee’s rights, as set forth by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, was declared by the judge to be insubstantial). The author of the assessment reaches the conclusion that the detention of the crewmembers of the Greenpeace ship “Artic Sunrise” and the charges brought against them are in gross breach of the regulations established in international law.

“The continuation and aggravation of the current legal situation is significantly damaging the Russian government’s international reputation,” the Council’s analysis points out.

“I urge that prompt measures be taken to drop the criminal charges brought under Article. 227 of the Russian Criminal Code against all those detained on the vessel Arctic Sunrise, and that they be freed from detention,” writes Mikhail Fedotov, head of the Human Rights Council.