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Russia Told To Free Greenpeace Ship, Activists

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

27 November 2013


Russian authorities have been ordered to release the Greenpeace ship the nation seized in September by the United Nations-backed International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in an order issued on November 22, 2013.

The Greenpeace icebreaker, The Arctic Sunrise, and its crew were detained by Russian authorities in September following a protest over oil drilling off Russia's coast. In its order, backed with 19 votes in favor and 2 against, the Tribunal required that the Netherlands post a bond of EUR3.6m before the vessel's release.

Last month, the Netherlands instituted arbitral proceedings against Russia under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, claiming that that the arrest and detention of the vessel and its crew by Russia violated the treaty. Russian prosecutors initially asserted that the activists' actions amounted to an "attack," classifiable as piracy under Russia's penal code, carrying a sentence of up to 15 years' imprisonment, although lesser charges have since been substituted and most of the activists have been released on bail.

TAGS: marine

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