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Arctic 30 get Amnesty

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Wednesday December 18, 2013 19:42author by Justin Morahan Report this post to the editors

Russian Parliament cries enough

The Arctic 30 who have been under threat of serving long sentences in Russia for their actions to prevent Arctic oil drilling, have been granted an amnesty by the Russian Parliament.

Supporters of the Arctic 30 around have received a copy of the following e-mail this evening:


Dear Justin,

Prepare yourself for some great news:

The Arctic 30 have been granted amnesty by the Russian parliament!!

This means the legal action by Russia against the Arctic 30 can come to an end and the 26 non-Russians will be free to return home to their families as soon as they are given exit visas by the Russian authorities.

While we're breathing a huge sigh of relief, they still aren't home yet. And Gazprom and Shell are still planning on drilling for oil in the Arctic. If you haven't already sent a message to Shell's new CEO, click here.

I think the best thing to share with you about the amnesty decision is from one of the Arctic 30.

Peter Willcox, Captain of the Arctic Sunrise:

"I might soon be going home to my family, but I should never have been charged and jailed in the first place. We sailed north to bear witness to a profound environmental threat but our ship was stormed by masked men wielding knives and guns. Now it’s nearly over and we may soon be truly free, but there’s no amnesty for the Arctic. We may soon be home, but the Arctic remains a fragile global treasure under assault by oil companies and the rising temperatures they’re driving. We went there to protest against this madness. We were never the criminals here."

It is not clear when the non-Russian crew among the Arctic 30 will be able to leave Russia. They don't have the correct stamps in their passports because, well, they were brought to Russia by commandos after being illegally seized in international waters.

This fight continues. Accepting amnesty does not mean admitting guilt. It means we can focus on what this is really about: saving the Arctic.

You have stuck with this story since the beginning. The most important thing you can do now is to help everyone you know understand that this is still far from over. The Arctic 30 were in the Arctic to bring attention to the absurdity of Arctic oil drilling. Tell Shell's new CEO to ditch the deal with Gazprom and leave Arctic oil in the ground.

Keep this fight alive.
Tell Shell: End Gazprom deal


Ben Ayliffe
Arctic Campaigner

P.S. If you're on Facebook, share this post today. Let your friends and family know there is still no amnesty for the Arctic."

Related Link:
author by UsefulIdiotspublication date Thu Dec 19, 2013 02:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is Gazprom AND shell.

However, like pussy riot and gay rights in Russia, I believe this whole affair has been hijacked and blown up across world media as more anti russian propaganda.

Greenpeace and Amnesty are having their strings pulled.

From the worldwide media coverage of this story you would get the impression that evil Russia is the only country spearheading the destruction of the environment in the search for fossil fuels, and that they were going to imprison protesters forever in some gulag, but I will remind you of the huge BP disaster in the US and the ongoing natural disaster that is the Niger Delta, and the general mistreatment of protest against oil companies worldwide.

Then of course there is that great environmentally destructive export from the US to the rest of the world that is hydraulic FRACKING and the callous way this is being pushed through in countries worldwide driven by profits and a corporate agenda.

Even here in Ireland, protesters were treated worse by the Irish state for their protests, being regularly physically assaulted and several key ones getting months in prison for trumped up charges, while known violent prisoners regularly continued to get bail and commit more offences.

The fact is there are many countries involved in the move to exploit artic resources. It is not just Russia.

Interesting to note how protesters have concentrated their efforts yet again to conveniently single out Russia. A long line in singling out of russia by pressure groups. What a coincidence that this yet again serves the geopolitical interests of the US, who are, of course, themselves not at all averse to exploiting fossil fuel resources in environmentally sensitive areas.

I am glad to see the protesters against the exploitation of oil released so quickly by Russian authorities, pity other countries working with large scumbag oil companies like shell haven't been quite as fair to those opposing them. Remember Ken Saro Wiwa

Yes, let's all keep fighting the good fight to embarrass russia and make them a world pariah, thus making it much easier for the US to get away with fomenting fake revolutions in their satellite countries, weakening their power, building military bases in their satellite countries encircling them, and generally treating them badly on the world stage, with the ultimate goal of regime change, leaving the benevolent US to control the world. What a great idea that is.

The fact is, the world needs Russia as a counterbalance to the US. I'll remind people that, although not perfect, Russia opposed the disastrous plans to invade Iraq, Libya, Syria. We need them to stand up against the crazies.

So We need to stop letting progressive movements be hijacked as tools for US imperialism

author by UsefulIdiotspublication date Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just to add, on the related issue of prisons and prisoners:
Russian parliament has just announced an amnesty for up to 25,000 prisoners.

Ok we've all heard how awful the evil russians are for detaining these greenpeace protesters and the pussy riot protesters. Now lets see an equally large media campaign from the likes of Amnesty to put pressure on the US to match the russian prisoner amnesty. There are plenty of non violent offenders thrown into for profit supermax prisons with hardened criminals. Or perhaps the US could be pressured to finally release the innocent Guantanamo prisoners and close the place. Both seem more serious issues than the temporary holding of some greenpeace protesters.

Maybe the US could be persuaded by the likes of Amnesty to release a few prisoners of conscience like Chelsea Manning too? Well if not, why not?

The US are supposedly the protectors and guardians of democracy and freedom in the western world, so much so that NGO's evidently don't seem to feel the need to complain about them anything like as much in the world media as the countries on the US geopolitical shitlist such as Syria, Libya, Cuba, Iran, DPRK, Russia, China.

Anyway, don't hear a whole lot from Amnesty on Chelsea Manning's behalf. Come to think of it, the treatment of occupy wall street was pretty disgusting and plenty of protesters were pepper sprayed and arrested and put under surveillance by homeland security. Not much coming out of Amnesty about how badly those protesters were treated.

Fact: The US is currently has the #1 largest per capita prison population in the world and that includes both Russia and China.

Fact too:

Maybe, given such shady think tank, state department, and billionaire connections, there is a reason for this apparent bias in NGO behaviour.

Let's have a little less bias from NGO's towards anything considered embarrassing to Russia and a little more honesty about the true nature of the good old US militarised surveillance and prison state. Because today, that is where the real for profit gulags lie. Especially if you are a male of an ethnic minority. But I do hope you won't get your funding cut if you choose to focus more on this.

As for greenpeace, save the artic dude, especially if it embarrasses Russia.
Too late to save the gulf of mexico though, that's already fucked. so no point in greenpeace banging on about that or demanding proper compensation from corporations or pressuring Obama. Just leave it to sink like a stone in the media, rather like the millions of barrels of oil, and the toxic dispersants have in the gulf. I had to dig to find a miserable 5 line post about the gulf. Even then it mentioned BP but no mention at all of the US, though they were equally at fault for the disaster by their lax regulation.

A quick look reveals that the first two pages of posts on the greenpeace site are about Russia. Looking at their site today, you'd be forgiven for thinking there's no other environmental disasters happening in the world today, and Russia are the biggest environmental criminals. Yet clearly the majority of the oil corporations involved bar Gazprom are US corporations.

I agree with many of the actual stated ideals of greenpeace, but with the amounts of funds it is now dealing with, the argument can be put that greenpeace has now become a business with a product and it has to put on a good show to get funding. It doesn't have anything like as many russian subscribers so perhaps it's campaigns need to be more acceptable to a largely american audience. This limits it's ability to proportionately criticise all things american, even though the US is the largest eco criminal nation in the world. No doubt it is spied on and infiltrated at this stage by french, british and US agents, so no surprise if the emphasis of the campaigns drifts away from the most pressing important interests of these nations and disproportionately focusses on irrelevancies, and pariah states. To some degree, greenpeace as an organisation has lost it's way. I hope it doesn't become another tool of imperialism like many other NGO's sadly seem to have.

author by environmentalpublication date Fri Dec 20, 2013 01:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Instead of rejoicing the release of Greenpeace activists we get sourgrapes comments. Look, it's the holiday season, yuletide, solstice, Christmas and New Year, so take a swig or two of your favourite beverage and cheer up. Happy Christmas to Justin and others who campaigned with sincere concern.

author by FFSpublication date Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Commenting on what the individual said regarding Amnasty and it's playing footsie with the Imperialist Murderers, the person above makes some pointless boring playing-the-player comment regarding "sour grapes".

The FACT is that there are a whole host of Fake Human-Rights orgs out there that have been hijacked for US "Soft power" projection purposes. Just cos there's some clueless people out there that would rather put their hands over their ears and chant "nah nah nah I can't hear you" when people point out the links that Amnasty has to US Imperialism, doesn't mean the rest of us should just shut up about it.

Orgs like Amnasty and Greenpeace act more and more like nothing more than an Outreach effort of US Imperialist. As long as there are people out there willing to ignore that then they will continue to get away with it.

author by FFSpublication date Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Maybe THIS will explain why Amnesty feels the need to promote a cheap hack like Harding (

    According to Amnesty International annual report page 8, Amnesty receives funding from George Soros' Open Society Institute (Soros is well known to be Anti-Russian in General and Very Anti Putin in particular) as well as the UK Department for International Development (hence Luke Harding ? who some people suspect may also work for the Brit Gov't, as well as being employed by the Guardian) and the European Commission.

    Anyone that thinks George Soros hands out money just because he loves Human Rights so much needs their head examined

    Soros hands out large amounts of money, and expects/demands something in return - No different than Rupert Murdoch, for instance

    Would anyone here feel fully ok with supporting a 'human rights' org like Amnesty IF Rupert Murdoch were one of it's main financial Supporters.

    Soros specialises in bringing-down/controlling economies of countries.

    Financial support fpor so-called 'democracy campainers' which he can set on anyone he likes, is just one of the many tools used by Nation Rapers such as Soros.

    The US also uses the same tool-set as Soros (plus a few additions) to do pretty much the same thing

SO: According to Amnesty's Annual Report (pg 8):

2 of the funding sources are Multi-Billionaire and raper of Sovereign Economies, George Soros - NOT a nice man!! (also unlikely to be truely concerned with anyone's rights but his own)


The British Gov't - NOT a nice bunch of people !! (also unlikely to be truely concerned with anyone's rights but their own)

Now who here would trust the word of either George Soros or the British Gov't?
Russia has been in the sights of these Nation Rapers for a long time now. And people like Amnasty Int and "Human Rights Watch" do their PR dirty-work.

And people like "environmental" above are acting as "Useful Idiots" when they demand that the rest of us shut up about Amnasty's acting as a US Soft Power Conduit.

author by FFSpublication date Sat Dec 21, 2013 17:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bolivia has announced the expulsion of a Danish NGO education development agency, accusing it of meddling in the country’s internal affairs.

Juan Ramon Quintana, the minister of the presidency, said Friday that President Evo Morales’ government decided to expel IBIS from the country because "they are doing political work against the government."

The order to expel the Danish-based agency, having worked with indigenous communities and unions in rural areas of Bolivia, was effective immediately.

"We are tired of tolerating IBIS' political interference in Bolivia, we are tired of tolerating IBIS' promotion of internal conflict among the indigenous organizations themselves," said Quintana.

In addition, Quintana accused Ibis of "dividing social organizations, financing the division of social organizations and erroneously interpreting its responsibilities, mandate and commitment to work in Bolivia."

In response to the expulsion, IBIS' office in La Paz said it was surprised by the government’s decision and that it is analyzing the situation.

IBIS Secretary-General Vagn Berthelsen said in a statement that the organization is "very surprised" by the move and it has worked to cooperate with Bolivian government agencies during its time in the country.
IBIS has been active in Bolivia since the 1960s, with the focus on education, climate change and improving intercultural democracy in the South American country, according to its website.

IBIS would be the first non-governmental organization to be expelled from the country.

In May 2013 Bolivia ordered the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to leave the country for allegedly meddling and conspiring against the government.

In 2008, Morales expelled the US ambassador and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for allegedly conspiring against his government. Bolivia is a major producer of coca leaves, which can be used to produce cocaine.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Sat Dec 28, 2013 23:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As you say, this is Gazprom and Shell.

There is no suggestion in the story that it is anti-Russian. It is simply the recording of the happy release (now executed) of the Arctic 30 who were imprisoned by Russia and in danger of long imprisonment. There is no effort to make Russia look like a world pariah. There is no bias against Russia or suggestion that Russia is "evil". Nowhere in the story is there a mention of Amnesty International so your comments on that organization are not ad rem here.

If any country impinges on the human rights of protestors that country leaves itself open to be a focus for protest. Whether the country is Russia or the United States or any other, including Ireland, there should be no difference. Are you saying that, whatever Russia does, we should close our ears and close our eyes just because another world power is doing other wrongs at home and abroad?

Of course, do protest against the multiple injustices perpetrated against the Rossport protestors, do campaign for the release of Chelsea Manning, campaign for the release of prisoners in the United States and in Guantanamo, pay homage to Ken Saro Wiwa and his companions, protest against US and UK-led wars around the globe, as I do. But don't blame Greenpeace for doing their own good work.

Among the countries where Greenpeace has been active and claims victories over the past decade are Canada, Mexico, Italy, China, India, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Senegal, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, UK, Greece, Poland, France, Finland, Lapland, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Chile, Estonia, Spain, Iceland and Russia. Not to mention giant corporations in the US and elsewhere whom they have confronted for environmental endangerment.

"environmental" is not a "useful idiot" nor am I. It might be more productive to save your indignation for some tougher adversaries.

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