Davutoğlu appeals to Lavrov for release of Greenpeace activist Gizem Akhan
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Greenpeace International activist Gizem Akhan attends a bail hearing at a court in Murmansk Oct. 16. REUTERS photoForeign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said he had written a letter to his Russian counterpart to call for his assistance in securing the release of the Turkish Greenpeace activist Gizem Akhan.
Akhan has been held in custody in St. Petersburg since being detained during an open-sea protest against the oil drilling in the Arctic Sea.
“I transmitted our expectations to Sergei Lavrov by writing him a letter. We will be following closely the process regarding Gizem,” Davutoğlu said via Twitter on Nov. 20.
He also added that Turkey’s St. Petersburg General Consul was regularly informing Akhan’s family about the trial process.
Akhan was detained along with 30 Greenpeace activists from 18 countries on Sept. 19 after Russian security forces seized the ship “Arctic 30.”
Russia has since put the 30 activist in jail in St. Petersburg pending trial, after moving them from the Arctic Circle city of Murmansk.
Russia’s Investigative Committee last month said it was softening the charges against the crewmembers, including Akhan, from piracy to hooliganism, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years.
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party announced on Nov. 20 that representatives would travel to Russia to follow the trial.