Greenpeace to Appeal Jailing of Activists

Environmental group Greenpeace said Friday it will appeal against the rulings of a Murmansk court that led to the jailing of 22 activists for a protest near an oil platform in the Arctic.

Among those jailed are a Russian news photographer and the ship's U.S. captain. Eight more were detained for three days pending a new hearing. No charges have been brought against anyone in the group.

Russian authorities seized the Greenpeace ship "Arctic Sunrise" on Sept. 19 after environmental activists had tried to scale a Gazprom oil platform.

The detained activists are from 18 countries, including Russia, and a long detention or series of trials could draw unwelcome international attention to Russia's tough policy against protests.

The platform, which belongs to an oil subsidiary of the state gas company Gazprom, is the first offshore rig in the Arctic. It was deployed to the vast Prirazlomnoye oil field in the Pechora Sea in 2011, but its launch has been delayed by technological challenges.

Gazprom said earlier this month it was to start pumping oil this year, but no precise date has been set.

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