Interfax: Ombudsman Lukin hopes Greenpeace activists detained in Russia will not be too severely punished

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW. September 24, 2013) Russia’s human rights commissioner Vladimir Lukin said he expected that the Russian authorities would not punish the activists of the Greenpeace environmental organization too severely for their protest rally against oil extraction in the Pechora Sea.

“I hope that our authorities will realize that they nevertheless had admirable and noble motives and that they will act according the mildest variant possible of the law,” Lukin told Interfax.

Activities aimed to protect the environment are honorable, Lukin said.

“However, in my point of view, the means that Greenpeace activists often employ can be quite eccentric. A basic principle exists: the rights of some people should not pose a threat to the rights of other people – some actions of Greenpeace activists pose a threat to their own lives as well as to the lives and health of others – and this is the issue,” Lukin said.

Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise vessel, escorted by border guards arrived in the port of Murmansk on Tuesday. The environmentalists were detained on September 19 after an attempt to stage a protest against oil extraction on the Prirazlomnaya platform in the Pechora Sea.

The Russian authorities have said that the actions of the Greenpeace activists in the Pechora Sea were an act of provocation.

The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case under the article dealing with piracy over the activists’ attempt to climb onto the Prirazlomnaya platform.