Newport Greenpeace activist Anthony Perrett arrives back in UK and 'looking forward to being back in Wales'

South Wales Argus: COMING HOME: Anthony Perrett with partner Zaharah Ally arriving at St Pancras station in London this afternoon COMING HOME: Anthony Perrett with partner Zaharah Ally arriving at St Pancras station in London this afternoon

UPDATE: 4.47pm

Anthony Perrett told gathered reporters in St Pancras station that he was looking forward to being back in Wales.

He said he was grateful to “some elements of the British Government” and said “global pressure to release us” would have been a factor in the Russian state’s decision.

“I’m certainly very grateful to some elements of the British government for sure.

Stood alongside his partner Zaharah Ally Mr Perrett said: “It’s not an everyday experience. It’s over now, it's good to be back.

“I’m very relieved to be home. It’s good to be back and speaking English, which has been sorely missed.

“I’m looking forward to going for a walk in the woods, getting back to Wales. My journey is not over yet, I have to get over the Severn Bridge before I get home.”

He said conditions had been difficult in Murmansk with deep snow and a cell six metres by four meters in size.

“It’s been an experience, I’ve only seen it from the inside looking out at the moment.”

He said he didn’t feel “any massive gratitude for being released because we were locked up on such an absurd charge” and that it was “certainly a risk” that he could have been in Russia for a long time. “The uncertainty didn’t stop until the wheels hit the ground,” he said.

“You just don’t know. There’s no certainty. There’s no judicial system with due process. We weren’t criminals. We didn’t commit hooliganism or piracy.

“There were farcical moments. You are in a court room where no one is really asking any questions. No one is really providing any evidence. There is no solid investigation process.

“There was no interest in anything that we had to say. They arrested a ship and then they weren’t too sure what to do with it.

UPDATE: 4.20pm

Anthony Perrett with partner Zaharah Ally arriving at St Pancras station in London this afternoon:

South Wales Argus: 3170516.jpg

UPDATE: 3.40pm

Anthony Perrett with partner Zaharah Ally at Polkovo airport in St Petersburg this morning as they prepared to board a flight to Paris.

South Wales Argus:

South Wales Argus:

UPDATE: 3.47pm

Newport Greenpeace activist Anthony Perrett is set to arrive in London shortly with fellow activists Alexandra Harris and Phil Ball, crew member Iain Rogers and freelance videographer Kieron Bryan.

They flew from St Petersburg to Paris and boarded the Eurostar to travel the last leg of their journey by rail. They are set to arrive at London's St Pancras Station this afernoon to be met by their families, a spokesman for Greenpeace said.

UPDATE: 11.47am

ANTHONY Perrett said the Arctic 30 activists faced “concentration camp conditions” but that he wasn’t mistreated during his stint in a Russian prison.

The Newport-based eco-activist is on his way back from Russia after charges were dropped against him and other activists and journalists involved in the Arctic Sunrise protest against oil drilling in the polar region.

He said he would go to Russia again and that the taking part was worth it despite his incarceration.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today’s programme that it had been a “very long 100 days. I’m quite eager to get back to Wales and sleep in my own bed and get back to work, really.

“We faced World War Two concentration camp conditions at times. Most of the time there was this professionalism that came through from the Russian people. There was a strange dichotomy of the building being sort of-World War Two mental hospital type affair and the prison guards in their uniforms. All very professional - everybody takes their job very seriously.”

However he said the people at the prison were nice and that he wasn’t mistreated: “The atmosphere was that of a concentration camp, it had the ascetic of [one]. We weren’t treated like prisoners of war. It had very much the razor wire, and the barbed wire, and the reinforcing bar which made up the cages. It had the ascetic of a concentration camp, not the conditions of.

Mr Perrett said he faced a routine of 23 hours in a cell and just one hour for a walk – giving him an opportunity to speak to his other ship mates.

He said: “I certainly hope that we got the conversation started in Russia about the drilling in the Arctic and certainly raised the issue with the Russian voters... It’s so dangerous on so many fronts.”

He said that campaign had kept him through his time in prison and said it was “definitely worth it.”

“Unless humanity starts acting as one, people on this planet we are going to irrevocably change the climate and make it unliveable on this planet for everybody,” he said.

“The existence of humanity on the planet – what price can you put on that, really? 15 years in prison compared to the existence of mankind is nothing really isn’t it?

“Would I go back to Russia for Greenpeace?.... I would certainly go again yes.”

UPDATE: 10.40am

NEWPORT Greenpeace activist, Anthony Perrett is on his way home today after boarding a flight out of Russia.

The 32-year-old former Caldicot councillor is one of six Greenpeace activists who have now left Russia after spending 100 days in the country.

Mr Perret was the first of the activists to have hooliganism charges against him over an Arctic oil drilling protest dropped by the Russian authorities on Tuesday. Yesterday, he was issued with an exit visa.

He is boarding a flight to Paris before continuing to the UK on the Eurostar.

Comments (15)

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2:55pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Katie Re-Registered says...

Whilst Putin and his skinhead 'supporters' definitely model themselves on Adolf Hitler, I doubt very much whether anyone could even conceive of what 'concentration camp conditions' were like unless they are a survivor of the Holocaust. I mean, did the Russian guards leave an indelible tattoo on the arms of the newly arrived prisoners? Did they separate them into two groups of those fit for slave labour and those who were elderly, children and disabled whom they then sent off to be murdered in gas chambers? Did they even shave their heads, make them wear stripey uniforms and hand out random beatings and summary executions towards the group? Did they perform medical experiments on any leaving them long-term disfigured and disabled? Was anyone raped or murdered whilst in custody? Erm...no. So, whilst early 21st century Russian prisons may be notoriously harsh, claiming that you have experienced equal to what an inmate at Auschwitz went through during World War II is, quite frankly, wrong.
Whilst Putin and his skinhead 'supporters' definitely model themselves on Adolf Hitler, I doubt very much whether anyone could even conceive of what 'concentration camp conditions' were like unless they are a survivor of the Holocaust. I mean, did the Russian guards leave an indelible tattoo on the arms of the newly arrived prisoners? Did they separate them into two groups of those fit for slave labour and those who were elderly, children and disabled whom they then sent off to be murdered in gas chambers? Did they even shave their heads, make them wear stripey uniforms and hand out random beatings and summary executions towards the group? Did they perform medical experiments on any leaving them long-term disfigured and disabled? Was anyone raped or murdered whilst in custody? Erm...no. So, whilst early 21st century Russian prisons may be notoriously harsh, claiming that you have experienced equal to what an inmate at Auschwitz went through during World War II is, quite frankly, wrong. Katie Re-Registered

3:10pm Fri 27 Dec 13

GogExile says...

I agree. It sounds neither like a concentration camp nor a gulag. Really crass comment but a nice soundbite ahead of perhaps flogging his 'story' on to a red top.

I assume he and his activist chums never offered to cycle home. Presumably all of the aviation fuel burnt to repatriate these activists is that special fuel that doesn't harm the environment?
I agree. It sounds neither like a concentration camp nor a gulag. Really crass comment but a nice soundbite ahead of perhaps flogging his 'story' on to a red top. I assume he and his activist chums never offered to cycle home. Presumably all of the aviation fuel burnt to repatriate these activists is that special fuel that doesn't harm the environment? GogExile

3:50pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Katie Re-Registered says...

Argus headline: "Newport Greenpeace activist on way home, tells of 'concentration camp conditions' in Russia"

What Mr Perrett actually said: "However he said the people at the prison were nice and that he wasn’t mistreated: “The atmosphere was that of a concentration camp, it had the ascetic of . We weren’t treated like prisoners of war. It had very much the razor wire, and the barbed wire, and the reinforcing bar which made up the cages. It had the ascetic of a concentration camp, not the conditions of."

...But I guess the SWA can't resist the lure of a Daily Mail tabloidesque, sensationalist style headline, eh? Even if it constitutes blatant misreporting.
Argus headline: "Newport Greenpeace activist on way home, tells of 'concentration camp conditions' in Russia" What Mr Perrett actually said: "However he said the people at the prison were nice and that he wasn’t mistreated: “The atmosphere was that of a concentration camp, it had the ascetic of [one]. We weren’t treated like prisoners of war. It had very much the razor wire, and the barbed wire, and the reinforcing bar which made up the cages. It had the ascetic of a concentration camp, not the conditions of." ...But I guess the SWA can't resist the lure of a Daily Mail tabloidesque, sensationalist style headline, eh? Even if it constitutes blatant misreporting. Katie Re-Registered

6:45pm Fri 27 Dec 13

GogExile says...

Katie Re-Registered wrote:
Argus headline: "Newport Greenpeace activist on way home, tells of 'concentration camp conditions' in Russia" What Mr Perrett actually said: "However he said the people at the prison were nice and that he wasn’t mistreated: “The atmosphere was that of a concentration camp, it had the ascetic of . We weren’t treated like prisoners of war. It had very much the razor wire, and the barbed wire, and the reinforcing bar which made up the cages. It had the ascetic of a concentration camp, not the conditions of." ...But I guess the SWA can't resist the lure of a Daily Mail tabloidesque, sensationalist style headline, eh? Even if it constitutes blatant misreporting.
Sorry, but if your read the article fully, he first states 'we faced World War Two concentration camp conditions' and later changes his phrasing to 'atmosphere'.
[quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: Argus headline: "Newport Greenpeace activist on way home, tells of 'concentration camp conditions' in Russia" What Mr Perrett actually said: "However he said the people at the prison were nice and that he wasn’t mistreated: “The atmosphere was that of a concentration camp, it had the ascetic of [one]. We weren’t treated like prisoners of war. It had very much the razor wire, and the barbed wire, and the reinforcing bar which made up the cages. It had the ascetic of a concentration camp, not the conditions of." ...But I guess the SWA can't resist the lure of a Daily Mail tabloidesque, sensationalist style headline, eh? Even if it constitutes blatant misreporting.[/p][/quote]Sorry, but if your read the article fully, he first states 'we faced World War Two concentration camp conditions' and later changes his phrasing to 'atmosphere'. GogExile

7:29pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Mervyn James says...

Now perhaps they will learn NOT to interfere in other countries business. Play the hero become the martyr, love the publicity, but it changed not a **** thing. Be a UK hero, improve lives HERE.
Now perhaps they will learn NOT to interfere in other countries business. Play the hero become the martyr, love the publicity, but it changed not a **** thing. Be a UK hero, improve lives HERE. Mervyn James

8:24pm Fri 27 Dec 13

merlin the silure says...

hmmm-perchance "greenbits" will not chance their arm with Russia again-I WONDER WHY?
hmmm-perchance "greenbits" will not chance their arm with Russia again-I WONDER WHY? merlin the silure

9:15pm Fri 27 Dec 13

siameselady says...

What an idiot!
What an idiot! siameselady

8:54am Sat 28 Dec 13

Dai Rear says...

I wonder if he'd have gone to perform in an African country (excluding South Africa and Botswana) or a Middle Eastern country (excluding Israel). Somehow doubt Ms Ally would have been quite so sanguine about that.
I wonder if he'd have gone to perform in an African country (excluding South Africa and Botswana) or a Middle Eastern country (excluding Israel). Somehow doubt Ms Ally would have been quite so sanguine about that. Dai Rear

9:45am Sat 28 Dec 13

Magor says...

A total Hypocrite should have walked back not flown,hope he will be back at work in a real job next week,but I doubt that, will be out chasing the media.
A total Hypocrite should have walked back not flown,hope he will be back at work in a real job next week,but I doubt that, will be out chasing the media. Magor

10:04am Sat 28 Dec 13

Katie Re-Registered says...

Well all I can say is that Mr Perrett looks remarkably well-fed in comparison to other recently liberated 'concentration camp' survivors!
Well all I can say is that Mr Perrett looks remarkably well-fed in comparison to other recently liberated 'concentration camp' survivors! Katie Re-Registered

10:56am Sat 28 Dec 13

ncfcr says...

Are we supposed to feel sympathy? I have none. Get home, get a real job, and stop interfering in other countries' business.
Are we supposed to feel sympathy? I have none. Get home, get a real job, and stop interfering in other countries' business. ncfcr

12:46pm Sat 28 Dec 13

hazellboy says...

ncfcr wrote:
Are we supposed to feel sympathy? I have none. Get home, get a real job, and stop interfering in other countries' business.
quite right, as I have said before time to grow up and find a real job, (heard they are taking people on at milford haven) and correct me if I am wrong but I thought prison was supposed to be grim, not 5 star luxury!
[quote][p][bold]ncfcr[/bold] wrote: Are we supposed to feel sympathy? I have none. Get home, get a real job, and stop interfering in other countries' business.[/p][/quote]quite right, as I have said before time to grow up and find a real job, (heard they are taking people on at milford haven) and correct me if I am wrong but I thought prison was supposed to be grim, not 5 star luxury! hazellboy

2:01pm Sat 28 Dec 13

Dai Rear says...

hazellboy wrote:
ncfcr wrote:
Are we supposed to feel sympathy? I have none. Get home, get a real job, and stop interfering in other countries' business.
quite right, as I have said before time to grow up and find a real job, (heard they are taking people on at milford haven) and correct me if I am wrong but I thought prison was supposed to be grim, not 5 star luxury!
I'm assuming Ms Alley wouldn't look so beautifully presented had she been on welfare these last 3 months and Mr P appears not to have a job which pulls in big bucks. So the organisation must have carried them. Where does its money come from? Most people, seeing a collector for "Greenpeace" would likely advise him to "pivot on this", so does the cash emanate from manufacturers of useless windmills perhaps?
[quote][p][bold]hazellboy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ncfcr[/bold] wrote: Are we supposed to feel sympathy? I have none. Get home, get a real job, and stop interfering in other countries' business.[/p][/quote]quite right, as I have said before time to grow up and find a real job, (heard they are taking people on at milford haven) and correct me if I am wrong but I thought prison was supposed to be grim, not 5 star luxury![/p][/quote]I'm assuming Ms Alley wouldn't look so beautifully presented had she been on welfare these last 3 months and Mr P appears not to have a job which pulls in big bucks. So the organisation must have carried them. Where does its money come from? Most people, seeing a collector for "Greenpeace" would likely advise him to "pivot on this", so does the cash emanate from manufacturers of useless windmills perhaps? Dai Rear

9:21am Sun 29 Dec 13

GardenVarietyMushroom says...

What a pathetic string of comments.
What a pathetic string of comments. GardenVarietyMushroom

12:21pm Sun 29 Dec 13

GogExile says...

GardenVarietyMushroo
m
wrote:
What a pathetic string of comments.
Really? Well, I see he's already given his story and access to his home to the press. Read the article, see if he ever mentions the reasons why they carried out the protest in the first place. Not a word.

http://www.dailymail
.co.uk/news/article-
2530646/I-forced-sur
vive-bread-water-Rus
sian-prison-didnt-se
rve-vegetarian-alter
native-says-freed-Br
itish-Greenpeace-act
ivist.html
[quote][p][bold]GardenVarietyMushroo m[/bold] wrote: What a pathetic string of comments.[/p][/quote]Really? Well, I see he's already given his story and access to his home to the press. Read the article, see if he ever mentions the reasons why they carried out the protest in the first place. Not a word. http://www.dailymail .co.uk/news/article- 2530646/I-forced-sur vive-bread-water-Rus sian-prison-didnt-se rve-vegetarian-alter native-says-freed-Br itish-Greenpeace-act ivist.html GogExile

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