Posts Tagged ‘Piracy’

Russia downgrades Greenpeace 30 charges from piracy to hooliganism

October 23, 2013

Ria Novosti reports:

Investigators in Russia said Wednesday that they have dropped piracy charges against environmental activists and freelance journalists detained last month aboard a Greenpeace ship.

Investigative Committee chief Vladimir Markin said the group will instead be charged with hooliganism.

……. Hooliganism in Russia carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail.

Russian authorities seized Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise icebreaker in mid-September after activists tried to scale an oil rig in the Arctic in protest against offshore drilling in the area. All 30 people on board – comprising 28 Greenpeace activists and two freelance journalists – were detained and later charged with piracy, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. …

Markin of Russia’s Investigative Committee also said some members of the group could face charges of using force against state officials.

He said the Greenpeace group’s lack of cooperation with investigators had unnecessarily drawn out the process.

“The failure of the accused to give evidence gave cause for investigators to carefully consider all alternative versions of what took place,” Markin said.

He said investigators needed to consider whether the Greenpeace group had attempted to board the oil platform for financial gain, terrorism or to conduct illicit research activities and espionage.

 

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The Greenpeace 30 could be free tomorrow but ……

October 19, 2013

It has been one month since the Greenpeace pirates were apprehended by the Russians.

The high profile Greenpeace strategies to get them released have been less than competent. They seem to be particularly incompetent regarding the Law of the Sea. Rather than getting their pirates released, nearly all their actions have been counter productive and have led to a hardening of the Russian position, the denial of bail, the inclusion of drug running charges and now even the threat of terrorism charges. That Greenpeace believes it stands above Governments and can determine what constitutes acceptable or unacceptable behaviour does not endear them to either the Russian Government or Russian Courts.

  1. They have tried bluster and moral indignation.
  2. They have tried arguing that the ends justify the means.
  3. They have managed expressions of support for their cause by rock stars
  4. The Head Pirate has written an idiot  “letter to Putin” in the form of a Press Release
  5. They have persuaded the Dutch Government to institute legal proceedings against Russia
  6. They persuaded the Dutch Government to get their police to apprehend and beat-up a Russian diplomat
  7. They have persuaded some Nobel prize winners to plead for the dropping of piracy charges.
  8. They have tried to complain that the conditions of detention are “inhumane”
  9. They have orchestrated emotional appeals by the families of the pirates.
  10. They have made press releases out of emotional letters from the pirates in captivity.

But humility and any hint that they might be wrong is not within Greenpeace’s genes. My expectation is that Greenpeace will continue to follow arrogant, ineffective and incompetent – but all high profile – strategies. They will only irritate and harden the Russian position even further against the criminals. (See what all the high profile, but equally incompetent, international publicity achieved for Pussy Riot).

What Greenpeace has not done but which they could do and which would probably get their pirates released in about a day is

  1. Get off their moral high horse,
  2. Acknowledge that they broke the law
  3. Get Kumi Naidoo to swallow his pride and grovel
  4. Apologise
  5. Arrange for each one of the detained to apologise to the court, and
  6. offer to give up their passports and accept some form of “house arrest” in exchange for bail, and
  7. provide individual and unconditional assurances that they will not flee.
  8. Assure the Russian courts – individually and collectively – that they will refrain from illegal actions and will abide by the decision(s) of the courts
  9. Assure their own Governments – individually and collectively – that they will refrain from illegal actions and will abide by the decision(s) of the courts
  10. Get their Government Heads to pass on such assurances to Putin (and effectively stand guarantor for the assurances given)

But I do not expect that Greenpeace and its pirates will ever acknowledge their arrogance or moral turpitude.

I expect the Russians will keep them locked up for some time longer. They may well add charges of terrorism – especially if any foreign Government tries to pressure Russian diplomats. If Greenpeace only sits on its high horse and continues to bluster, the 30 may well be there till just before Christmas.

And winter has come early to Murmansk.

Related: The Pirates of Greenpeace

“Wicked” Greenpeace casting a dark shadow over the world

October 14, 2013

Wicked Green Pirate: image by http://nowio.deviantart.com/

Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have become merely destructive movements. And their self-righteous beliefs in their world-view seem to justify any means. Not just piracy and drug-running, now Greenpeace have also been labelled “wicked” for their opposition to Golden rice. Patrick Moore – who was a co-founder of Greenpeace – called their opposition to GM crops in general and Golden rice in particular a “crime against humanity”.

And now the UK Secretary for the Environment, Owen Paterson called them “wicked” saying “they could be condemning millions of people in the developing world to a premature death”.

BBCOpponents of the development of a type of genetically modified (GM) rice enriched with vitamin A are “wicked”, the environment secretary has said.

In an interview with the Independent, Owen Paterson said they could be condemning millions of people in the developing world to a premature death.

Mr Paterson backed a letter from international scientists calling for the rapid development of “golden rice”. ….  Mr Paterson told the newspaper: “It’s just disgusting that little children are allowed to go blind and die because of a hang-up by a small number of people about this technology.

“I feel really strongly about it. I think what they do is absolutely wicked. There is no other word for it.”

Mr Paterson did not specify any particular groups in his interview but also said opponents of GM technology were “casting a dark shadow over attempts to feed the world”. ……

 ….. Meanwhile, in a letter to US journal Science, a group of leading academics accused Western non-governmental organisations of fuelling opposition to the development of GM technologies. They wrote: “If ever there was a clear-cut cause for outrage, it is the concerted campaign by Greenpeace and other non-governmental organisations, as well as by individuals, against golden rice.”

Environmental campaigners such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have said there are more effective solutions to vitamin A deficiency.

The Independent adds:

In the strongest attack yet on the anti-GM lobby Mr Paterson told The Independent that NGOs such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth that oppose GM technology were “casting a dark shadow over attempts to feed the world”.

The Pirates of Greenpeace are also accused of drug running

October 10, 2013

Pirates of Greenpeace

Greenpeace – They are the very model of modern Environ-Mentalists.

Not just pirates but drug runners too! The Greenpeace protestations of innocence are a little overdone since poppy straw is the raw opium used for the illegal extraction of heroin (and the production of morphine). It would seem that our pirates were also engaged in the production of drugs – presumably for their “recreation” on slow nights when they weren’t pirating.

Ria Novosti: 

Russian investigators said Wednesday that drugs have been found on board a Greenpeace ship seized last month, raising the threat of new charges against a group of activists and journalists awaiting trial on suspicion of piracy.

Investigative Committee chief Vladimir Markin said in a statement that the substances found on the Arctic Sunrise icebreaker were presumed to be poppy straw and morphine.

He said “the charge already pressed against all [the detainees] will presumably be modified.”

Russian authorities detained the group of 30 environmentalists and journalists last month after activists from the Greenpeace ship staged a protest against oil drilling in the Arctic, with some of them attempting to scale a Russian oil platform.

Greenpeace issued a statement later in the day, saying that the drugs were likely “medical supplies that our ships are obliged to carry under maritime law” and that some medical supplies are kept in a safe accessible only to the ship’s captain and doctor.

The group said it has a strict policy against recreational drugs on board its ships and that the Arctic Sunrise had been searched by a sniffer dog before leaving Norway for the Russian Arctic.

All the detainees from the ship, comprising nationals of 18 countries, have been charged with piracy.

The Investigative Committee spokesman also said that a number of defendants in the case will be charged with “committing other grave crimes.”

Piracy increasing off the West African coast

July 24, 2011

AFP reports that another Italian tanker has been seized by pirates off the coast of Benin.  It remains inexplicable to me in this world of satellite navigation and GPS and Rapid Reaction Forces and instant news that piracy can still not only continue but actually flourish.  

Why do I wonder if the insurance industries actually come out of this with increased profits??

AFP: Cotonou -Pirates seized an Italian tanker with a crew of 23 off Benin in the Gulf of Guinea Sunday, the Benin navy said. Navy commander Maxime Ahoyo told AFP that after receiving distress signals from the vessel, the navy sent two patrol boats in pursuit of the pirates. “We are closely monitoring the situation,” he added.

Three pirates managed to board the ship 23 nautical miles south of Cotonou (AFP/Graphic)

Earlier, the Italian news agency ANSA first reported the capture of the Rbd Anema e Core and its crew comprising 20 Filipino seamen, two Italians and a Romanian captain. It said three pirates managed to board the ship, which was carrying fuel, 23 nautical miles south of Cotonou, the economic capital of Benin. Italy’s foreign ministry said its crisis unit was in touch with the Naples-based shipowner and following the situation closely.

Italy stepped up its measures against piracy earlier in July, clearing commercial ships sailing through dangerous waters to use private security guards or soldiers for protection. It is not clear whether the Rbd Anema e Core was carrying armed guards. Pirates have seized several Italian boats over the last few years. Earlier this month, a Greek oil tanker hijacked by gunmen off the coast of Nigeria was released along with its 20-strong crew. The Liberian-flagged oil tanker Aegean Star owned by Endeavour Marine Agency was returning to the Ghanaian port of Tema. On April 21 Somali pirates captured an Italian cargo ship headed for Iran with 21 crew members on board, including six Italians, in the Arabian Sea near Oman. In February, pirates wielding rocket-launchers seized a large Italian oil tanker with a crew of five Italians and 17 Indians east off the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean.

 


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