The news overnight that at least some member of the Arctic 30, including Tasmanian Greenpeace member Colin Russell, will be detained for three more months before charges are heard is a bitter blow and one that makes the need for Australian Government intervention all the more pressing.
The Russian response to the Greenpeace protest action in the Arctic Sea is out of all proportion. Colin has already been held for more than two months and now faces another three months in detention. The charges themselves are ludicrous because no reasonable person would regard Greenpeace as engaging in piracy, while the hooliganism charge is fanciful because the protest action was in international waters.
I call again on the Australian Government to show as much interest in the Arctic 30 as it did in two Australian businessmen detained in Dubai. The British Prime Minister and German chancellor have already spoken to the Russian President to express their concerns with the continued detention of the Greenpeace activists and it is beyond time for Tony Abbott to do the same.
Andrew Wilkie MP, Independent Member for Denison