Good news from Russia

Russia's top investigative agency says it will prosecute Greenpeace activists on piracy charges for trying to climb onto an Arctic offshore drilling platform owned by the state-controlled gas company Gazprom.

"When a foreign vessel full of electronic technical equipment of unknown purpose and a group of people calling themselves members of an environmental rights organisation try nothing less than to take a drilling platform by storm, logical doubts arise about their intentions," Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said in a statement.

"Such activities not only infringe on the sovereignty of a state, but might pose a threat to the environmental security of the whole region."

The Investigative Committee, Russia's main federal investigative agency, said its agents will question all those who took part in the protest and detain the "most active" of them on piracy charges. Piracy carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of 500,000 rubles ($A16,601). Good news all round but surely they can confiscate the Greenpeace ship as well.  The Russians could give it a paint job and give it the oil company. Now that would be fitting - don't you think? UPDATE:  Putin, the weak bastard, is dropping the Pirate line. UPDATE II: They now face Piracy charges.

A regional prisoners' rights activist said the activists were complaining of their holding conditions which included cold cells, chain-smoking fellow prisoners and difficulty communicating with guards who do not speak English.

Poor babies...chain smoking fellow prisoners...oh the inhumanity.  Other complaints include being locked up like chickens which makes me wonder why the Russians are being so kind to them. Leave 'em there and sell their ship.  It's the only reasonable thing to do.    

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