October 8, 2020 | News | No Comments
Russia must compensate the Netherlands for its seizure of a Greenpeace ship two years ago, which led to the arrest of 30 international environmental activists, a court in the Hague ruled on Monday.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruled that Russia’s September 2013 seizure of the Arctic Sunrise and the jailing of those on board was unlawful, and said the Netherlands “is entitled to compensation with interest for material damage” to the ship and the crew, who became known as the Arctic 30.
Activists had scaled an offshore oil rig owned by Russian energy company Gazprom in a protest against Arctic drilling. In response, Russian authorities intercepted Greenpeace’s vessel in international waters and took the crew into custody at gunpoint, sparking international outcry over what many saw as excessive and hostile treatment of the peaceful demonstrators and journalists.
Russia returned the ship to the Netherlands last year, but not before detaining the activists for months.
Monday’s ruling found that Russia had violated some of the requirements of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), which had ordered authorities to promptly release the Arctic Sunrise and the protesters. Russia must also pay back the bail money raised by the Dutch people to free the detained protesters.
“Russia had failed to satisfy the ‘promptness’ of the requirements of the ITLOS,” the PCA said, adding that this “amounted to a breach of Russia’s obligations under the convention.”
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