Queen’s Park Greenpeace activist released on bail
PUBLISHED: 15:06 22 November 2013 | UPDATED: 15:39 22 November 2013
© Steve Morgan / Greenpeace
A Greenpeace activist held in a Russian jail on piracy charges has been granted bail
The news of Frank Hewetson’s release was announced by a court in Saint Petersburg on Thursday following mounting pressure from the national and international community.
Mr Hewetson, from Chevening Road in Queen’s Park, was on board the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise when it was seized by Russian security services at gunpoint on September 18.
The 45-year-old was part of a protest at Gazprom’s drilling platform Prirazlomnaya and was one of 30 activists arrested and held in a detention centre in Murmansk, in the northwest of the country.
The fate of the activist, who is a photographer and videographer, was debated in the European Parliament after he was denied bail last month.
Baroness Sarah Ludford, Lib-Dem MEP for London appealed for the “immediate release of all detainees by the Russian authorities” so that Mr Hewetson could return home.
Local councillors have rallied their support, with Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, sending a letter to the Russian Embassy signed by Cllr James Denselow who represents Queens Park; Neil Nerva and Ellie Southwood, Labour candidates for Queen’s Park and Tulip Siddiq, Labour parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn.
Cllr. Butt said: “It is fantastic news that Mr Hewetson, along with other members of Arctic 30, will be reunited with his family and friends back in the UK.
”I am pleased that the Russian authorities seem to have listened to the calls for these peaceful protestors to be released from our community in Brent and across the World.”
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