Newport eco-activist Anthony Perrett held in Russia without charge
5:54pm Sunday 29th September 2013 in News
A NEWPORT eco-activist has been locked up in Russia for almost two months without charge.
Anthony Perrett, 32, appeared in a Russian court this morning and is among six Britons held following a Greenpeace protest at an Arctic oil rig.
He, along with fellow protestor Frank Hewetson, was remanded in custody on suspicion of piracy.
Greenpeace yesterday tweeted a picture of Mr Perrett standing behind the bars of a cage in a Russian courtroom.
The pressure group said the activist was to be held in custody until November 24 pending the Russian piracy investigation.
A total of 30 activists were held eleven days ago(FROM MONDAY) when armed Russian officials boarded their vessel, the Arctic Sunrise.
The boat and protesters were taken from the Arctic's Pechora sea, near to oil company Gazprom's platform, and transferred to the port of Murmansk.
Russian authorities are investigating charges of piracy, which carry a jail term of ten to 15 years.
Executive director of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven, said: "The total overreaction by the Russian authorities to a peaceful non-violent protest in the Arctic Ocean has continued.
"Even President Putin has publicly stated at a meeting of the Arctic Forum last week that Greenpeace are not pirates. This is an act of intimidation and bullying by the Russian authorities. We will continue to support those who have been imprisoned and their families at this time."
Mr Perrett’s partner Zaharah Ally told the Argus last week that Mr Perrett was "very brave and committed person" who would be doing his best to keep his crewmates’ spirits up.
Mr Perrett, a former Caldicot Town Council councillor, is a tree surgeon and director of a community interest company that encourages the use of renewable energy. He also trains with the Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA).
Greenpeace is campaigning against attempts by companies to drill for oil in the waters of the Arctic, warning that a spill would be highly environmentally damaging and extraction of more fossil fuels will add to climate change.
Gazprom's plans to start drilling from the Prirazlomnaya platform in the first quarter of 2014 raised the risk of an oil spill in an area that contains three nature reserves protected by Russian law, campaigners said.
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