Turkish Greenpeace activist released on bail by Russian court
Turkish Greenpeace activist Gizem Akhan was freed on bail Nov 21. AA photoA Russian court has released Turkish Greenpeace activist Gizem Akhan on bail as the activists’ two months in prison came to an end.
Akhan, released by the court pending a trial, was detained along with 30 Greenpeace activists from 18 countries on Sept. 19 after Russian security forces seized the ship “Arctic 30.”
Turkish officials, including Foreign Minsiter Ahmet Davutoğlu, had recently been stepping up efforts to secure Akhan’s release. Davutoğlu wrote a letter to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Akhan’s behalf.
Three lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Melda Onur, İlhan Cihaner and Veli Ağbaba, were present at the courthouse to express their support for Akhan.
Russia had put the 30 activists 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.
A number of protesters, however, were released in the past two days as the hearings came closer to an end.