Newport Greenpeace activist held by Russians in Arctic
9:57am Tuesday 24th September 2013 in Gwent news
A NEWPORT man is one of 30 Greenpeace activists under armed guard after their ship was boarded last Thursday by Russian officials in the Arctic.
Newport man Anthony Perrett, 32, and 29 other activists, including six Britons, were on the Arctic Sunrise when they were boarded by Russian officials in the Arctic's Pechora Sea near to oil company Gazprom's rig.
The Russian Coast Guard is currently towing the Greenpeace ship toward the nearest port after armed officers stormed it following a protest against oil drilling in Arctic waters.
Mr Perrett's partner Zaharah Ally told the Argus:"Of course, I’m very worried about him being held by the Russians, and I’m desperate to hear from him again and make sure he’s alright, but he’s a very brave and committed person, and I know he’ll be doing his best to keep his crewmates’ spirits up.
“What has happened on the Arctic Sunrise is only a small part of what Anthony believes in and is passionate about. When he’s not volunteering for Greenpeace Anthony’s busy with his local community and building a sustainable future for all.
"He is a tree surgeon who loves our local forests, and a director of a community interest company which encourages and supports the use of renewable energy. In his spare time Anthony trains with the Seven Area Rescue Association supporting the rescue of people both in land and at sea."
Russia's Investigative Committee announced on Friday that it is formally considering charges of piracy - something Greenpeace denies due to the peaceful nature of the protest. A security official added the activists could face terrorism charges.
Greenpeace has strongly rejected Russian allegations that they were involved in piracy, and said it was there to protest against Gazprom's attempts to drill for oil in the region.
One of the activists aboard the vessel, Faiza Oulahsen, said that late on Thursday 15 armed men boarded the Arctic Sunrise, 'aggressively' herding activists into one compartment.
In a phone call from the ship, she said: "They used violence against some of us, they were hitting people, kicking people down, pushing people."
A day earlier, two activists were arrested following an attempt to board an offshore drilling platform belonging to the state natural gas company Gazprom.
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