Greenpeace International reports that it understands from diplomatic sources that the thirty men and women detained by Russia following a peaceful protest against an Arctic oil platform are being moved from a detention centre in Murmansk to a jail in St Petersburg.
Lawyers for Greenpeace are not aware of the reasons for the move. Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said:
"“The detainees shouldn’t be in jail at all. They should be free to join their families and restart their lives. St Petersburg has some daylight in the winter months, unlike Murmansk. Families and consular officials will now find it easier to visit the thirty. But there is no guarantee that conditions inside the new detention centre will be any better than in Murmansk. In fact, they could be worse. There is no justification whatsoever to keep the Arctic 30 in any prison for a day longer. They are prisoners of conscience who acted out of a determination to protect us all, and they should be free.”
Prosecuting authorities in Russia have come under fire after it was revealed that they have failed to lift charges of piracy against the Arctic 30, despite pledging to do so. Instead each of them was simply served with the additional charge of hooliganism.
The picture is of the inside of a cell at the Murmansk detention centre where the detainees have been held for over a month.