Main opposition CHP deputies to attend Turkish Greenpeace activist’s trial in Russia
Greenpeace activists chain themselves to each other during a demonstration on Bosphorus bridge calling for the release of 30 people arrested in Russia over a protest against Arctic oil drilling, during the Istanbul Marathon in Istanbul November 17, 2013. REUTERS photoThree lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will attend a court hearing in Russia’s St. Petersburg on Nov. 21 to express their support for detained Turkish Greenpeace activist Gizem Akhan and other members of the organization.
CHP deputies Melda Onur, İlhan Cihaner and Veli Ağbaba will travel to St. Petersburg in order to follow the hearing.
Akhan was put in pre-trial prison along with 30 Greenpeace activists from 18 countries on Sept. 19 after Russian security forces seized the ship “Arctic 30” at gunpoint following an open-sea protest against Arctic oil drilling.
Russia has since put the 30 people in prison 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.
The St. Petersburg court this week has already granted bail to 12 of the 30 people aboard the ship. The court said detainees would be released if bail, which was set at 2 million rubles ($61,400 or 45,500 euros) for each activist, is paid within four days.