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'Arctic 30' Seeking Damages From Russia

A group of Greenpeace activists has applied to the European Court of Human Rights.

A group of Greenpeace activists and journalist who were detained in Russia last year for staging a protest at an Arctic oil rig has applied to the European Court of Human Rights in an attempt to win damages from Moscow.

The "Arctic 30," as they became known, said in their complaint that Russia's response to their protest was "grossly excessive" and that they are seeking compensation for being unlawfully detained, as well as costs associated with defending their cases in Russia and bringing their case to the European court, the Guardian reported Monday.

One of the group's lawyers said Russia's actions were a "flagrant violation of applicable international and Russian law" and were "completely disproportionate to the peaceful protest that took place."

Russian coastguards boarded the Arctic Sunrise ship on Sept. 18, 2013, after a number of its crew tried to scale a Gazprom rig to protest arctic oil drilling.

The "Arctic 30" were detained for two months before being bailed and the hooliganism charges against them were were dropped completely in late December as part of a wider amnesty ordered by President Vladimir Putin.

The Arctic Sunrise is still being held in the northern Russian city of Murmansk, and last week a St. Petersburg court rejected Greenpeace's request to check that it has received proper maintenance while it is there.

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