Human Rights Council to appeal to Russian president over Greenpeace piracy charges - newspaper

Members of the Russian President's Human Rights Council intend to ask President Vladimir Putin on October 11 about a possible legal appraisal of the charges brought against the Greenpeace environmentalists, Kommersant wrote on Thursday.

Members of the Russian President's Human Rights Council intend to ask President Vladimir Putin on October 11 about a possible legal appraisal of the charges brought against the Greenpeace environmentalists, Kommersant wrote on Thursday.

"The Arctic Sunrise situation may be discussed at the Friday meeting. If this decision is made, members of the Council's standing commission for human rights abroad or standing commission for case law or standing commission for environmental law will deal with it," Council Chairman Mikhail Fedotov told the newspaper.

In his opinion, prosecutors should also intervene over the piracy accusations. "They [the environmentalists] could have been accused of gang rape just as well," he said.

Kirill Kabanov, a member of the Human Rights Council's standing commission for human rights abroad, told the newspaper he had discussed a possibility of intervention in the Arctic Sunrise case with his colleagues.

"Most probably, we will make legal appraisal of the actions of the Russian authorities and the environmentalists. The appraisal report will be submitted to the president. Personally, I think this is not a case of piracy," he told Kommersant.

The Arctic Sunrise was detained on September 19 over a protest rally against the oil drilling activities of the Prirazlomnaya platform in the Pechora Sea. The vessel was brought to Murmansk and impounded.

All 30 crew members have been charged with "piracy committed by an organized group." The defendants pled not guilty and refused to testify.

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