Video shows dramatic arrest of Newport Greenpeace activist, Anthony Perrett by Russian forces in Arctic
Updated 2:36pm Monday 11th November 2013 in News
THESE are the dramatic moments when a Newport activist came to face with Russian forces as they seized a Greenpeace ship.
Anthony Perrett has been in custody ever since Russian authorities boarded the Arctic Sunrise, together with 29 other activists and journalists.
Meanwhile Greenpeace said that Russian officials today began to move the detainees from Murmansk to St Petersburg by prison train.
In a video newly released by the charity a man in a balaclava can be seen to drop from a helicopter to the vessel’s deck, appearing to fix a rope with Mr Perrett and others stood near-by with their hands up.
Another man then drops to the ship, holding a gun.
Meanwhile Greenpeace said Russian authorities have started to move the 30 activists detained by Russia from the Arctic town of Murmansk to St Petersburg.
The charity said it understood the move was taking place by prisoner train. Lawyers for the 30 who tried to visit them in Murmansk this morning were told by officials at the detention centre that all thirty were already being transported.
Ben Ayliffe, Greenpeace International Arctic campaigner, commented: “We don’t yet know if the relocation of these wrongfully accused people will see an improvement in terms of their detention conditions and basic human rights.
“We are doing everything in our power to ensure that the Arctic 30 are transported in a humane way.”
According to Greenpeace detainees in prison trains are placed in special carriages, containing cells with space for four people with two wooden bunk beds on each side.
“From the information we have these cars are not heated,” said Mr Ayliffe. “We have advised the 30 to dress in warm clothes and shoes. We have also organised prompt deliveries of additional supplies of warm outfits, in addition to the garments that we have been able to get to them in the last couple of weeks.”
The charity says it is unclear why the Arctic 30 are being moved to St Petersburg.
Mr Ayliffe added: “At the heart of the matter is the simple basic truth that their incarceration is unlawful. These people are neither pirates, nor hooligans, they are innocent.”
Earlier this month Greenpeace said that piracy charges had not been dropped against Mr Perrett as had been suggested in earlier reports, a 32-year-old tree surgeon and one-time Caldicot town councillor.
Russia’s Investigative Committee had announced that the piracy charges, which carry a 15-year jail sentence, would be replaced with charges of hooliganism.
But Greenpeace said that when the 30 detainees were brought before the committee the piracy charge was not withdrawn and instead each of them was served with the additional charge of hooliganism.
A total of 30 activists and journalists were held last month when armed Russian officials boarded their vessel, the Arctic Sunrise.
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