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Russian authorities will drag out the pre-trial detention of Australian Greenpeace activist Colin Russell by a further three months, it has been revealed.

Russell was the first of 30 Greenpeace supporters arrested for an Arctic protest and will remain in a Saint Petersburg cell in custody of the courts until February 24.

As he was the first detained, this extension may set a precedent for other captive protesters. 

Greenpeace ship Polar Sunrise was taken at gunpoint and the crew face trial for piracy and hooliganism for their protest at the oil drilling platform Gazprom Arctic.

The Saint Petersburg’s Primorsky court judge said they would "leave the pre-trial restrictions unchanged until February 24" and lesser forms of custody - including bail - have been denied. 

 

"I love you all. I love everybody," Russell, 59, said via Greenpeace. 

"I am not a criminal."

Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo described the new developments in the as making it "now a circus".

"We will continue to pursue every legal avenue we can, and leave no stone unturned, until each and every one of them is home with their families," he said.

Images via Getty


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Russian court extends Australian Greenpeace activist's pre-trial detention by three months
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