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Russia must pay compensation over Greenpeace ship seizure, panel says

Published 24/08/2015

The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise was seized by Russian authorities in September 2013
The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise was seized by Russian authorities in September 2013

Russia must compensate the Netherlands for breaching an international treaty regulating the laws of the sea by seizing a Greenpeace ship protesting at an oil platform in Arctic waters, an international arbitration panel has announced.

The Arctic Sunrise, sailing under a Dutch flag, was seized by Russian authorities in September 2013 during a protest against an offshore oil platform, and the 30 people on board were arrested and detained in Russian prisons for months. They were eventually released shortly before the Sochi Olympics.

The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration said the amount of compensation to be paid by Russia will be decided at a later date.

Russia did not take part in the arbitration.

Greenpeace International legal counsel Daniel Simons welcomed the ruling.

"This protest occurred well outside of Russia's territorial waters and did nothing to satisfy the legal definition of piracy or hooliganism," Mr Simons said in a statement.

"We hope that this deters other countries from similarly aggressive attempts to stifle dissent, either on land or at sea."

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