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Demand to free 'Arctic 30' echoed in Odisha

 

Posted Wednesday July 06, 2016

Greenpeace India, Arctic 30, Odisha, Environment  
 

Greenpeace’ ship, the Arctic Sunrise, was also seized by the Russian authorities. 28 Greenpeace activists, a photojournalist and a videographer have been charged with piracy and hooliganism. Currently imprisoned at Murmansk, Russia, the arrested members may face a jail term of up to seven years.

 

HNF Correspondent

 
 

Civil society members from Odisha and members of Greenpeace India, non-government body working on environmental issues, gathered today in Odisha’s capital city of Bhubaneswar to discuss India’s possible role in promoting peace and science in the Arctic region and extend solidarity to the ‘Arctic 30’, who have been arrested following a peaceful protest at Gazprom’s oil rig to stop drilling in the Arctic.

Greenpeace’ ship, the Arctic Sunrise, was also seized by the Russian authorities. 28 Greenpeace activists, a photojournalist and a videographer have been charged with piracy and hooliganism. Currently imprisoned at Murmansk, Russia, the arrested members may face a jail term of up to seven years.

 

The crew of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise took part in a peaceful protest intended to expose the threat of oil drilling and climate change in the Arctic. “Due to the retreating ice, new areas are being made accessible for industrial exploitation. This would further endanger the already threatened environment of the Arctic. Melting of the ice in the Arctic may have catastrophic impact on the whole mankind. The world leaders must take the magnitude of the situation into serious account and work together to save the Arctic rather than destroying it,” said Biswajit Mohanty, noted Conservationist and environmental activist from Odisha.

A good number of legal experts from across the globe have strongly reacted against the seizure of the ship, Arctic Sunrise, and against framing of piracy and Hooliganism charges on the Arctic 30. The government of the Netherlands has also filed a request with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) requesting it to order for release of the Arctic Sunrise vessel and all on board.

The members discussed and highlighted the key role that India could play to ensure protection of the wider Arctic by promoting scientific research and international peace collaborations.

“India’s capacity as an observer on the Arctic Council and our deep interest in the issue of climate change gives us an opportunity to display global leadership in calling for the Arctic region to be made a natural reserve. The Indian leaders can join the world in creating a positive message to safeguard the fragile environment of the Arctic,” said Pari Trivedi, Greenpeace India Media Officer, while discussing India’s possible role in the Arctic.

Renowned Sand Artist Sudarshan Patnaik also shared the podium and spoke, ‘The Arctic 30 protested peacefully on behalf of all the countries and their people.” Deeply moved by the action of the team Arctic 30 to save the planet from environmental destruction, Patnaik declared that he would create a massive sand art in Puri to highlight the cause.

Pressing upon its faith in non-violent activism, members of the organisation urged the Indian leaders act promptly to protect the Arctic and free the Arctic 30.

 
   
 

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