European Parliament to debate Greenpeace activist from Queen’s Park held in Russia on piracy charges
PUBLISHED: 13:00 23 October 2013 | UPDATED: 13:06 23 October 2013
© Steve Morgan / Greenpeace
The fate of a Greenpeace activist held in Russia on piracy charges will be debated in the European Parliament today.
Frank Hewetson was part of a protest at Gazprom’s drilling platform Prirazlomnaya on September 18.
The next day, the 45-year-old from Chevening Road in Queens Park, was onboard the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise when it was seized by Russian security services at gunpoint.
Mr Hewetson, who is a photographer and a videographer, was one of 30 activists arrested and held in a detention centre in the Murmansk area of the country.
Last week, Mr Hewetson was denied bail.
Baroness Sarah Ludford, Lib-Dem MEP for London, said: “The Russian reaction has been completely disproportionate to the actions of the crew members of Arctic Sunrise ship.
“I reject wholeheartedly the charge against Mr Hewetson of ‘committing acts of piracy’ and am deeply concerned about the prospect that he could be jailed for fifteen years.”
“I call on the EU to strongly condemn the detention of the Greenpeace ‘Arctic 30’ for staging a peaceful protest against oil drilling in the Arctic, and appeal for the immediate release of all detainees by the Russian authorities so that Mr Hewetson can return safely to his family and friends in Queens Park.”