Actions of Greenpeace activists now classified as hooliganism - official

The Investigative Committee of Russia has changed the classification of the actions of Greenpeace activists on the Prirazlomnaya oil platform in the Pechora Sea from piracy to hooliganism, official spokesman for the committee Vladimir Markin has said.

The Investigative Committee of Russia has changed the classification of the actions of Greenpeace activists on the Prirazlomnaya oil platform in the Pechora Sea from piracy to hooliganism, official spokesman for the committee Vladimir Markin has said.

The maximum punishment under Article 213 of the Russian Criminal Code (hooliganism) is confinement for a term of seven years while piracy entails imprisonment for a term of up to 15 years.

The Arctic Sunrise ship was detained in the Pechora Sea on September 19 for the attempt by Greenpeace to stage a protest against oil extraction on Prirazlomnaya platform.

On September 24 it arrived at a port in Murmansk under the escort of border guards. There were 30 crewmembers and activists aboard, including four Russians. All of them were arrested and charged with piracy.

Speaking at an international Arctic forum on September 25 President Vladimir Putin said that the Greenpeace activists who tried to seize Prirazlomnaya platform had broken the norms of international law but were not pirates.

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