Canadian Greenpeace activist arrested during protest granted bail in Russia

A Greenpeace spokesman says a Canadian activist who was among 30 arrested during a protest in September has been granted bail by a Russian court.

Spencer Tripp says Paul Ruzycki of Port Colborne, Ont., one of two Canadians being held in Russia, was granted bail today.

Ruzycki and Alexandre Paul of Montreal are among the activists awaiting trial for taking part in a demonstration outside a Russian oil rig back in September.

His sister, Patti Ruzycki Stirling, says she and her brother’s supporters are “over the moon” to hear the news but they are still waiting to learn what his bail conditions will be.

She says they have not yet been able to speak to Ruzycki because of strict control by Russian authorities, but are looking forward to that happening soon.

Tripp says Paul, the Canadian from Montreal, is scheduled for a detention hearing on Thursday. Both Tripp and Stirling were in Toronto on Tuesday when the news about Ruzycki became known.

The Russian court today also granted bail to several Greenpeace protesters from Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand and Poland.

The Primorsky court in St. Petersburg on Tuesday set bail at two million rubles (US$61,500) each for Miguel Orsi, Ana Paula, David Haussman and Tomasz Dziemianczuk.

The court said the activists would be released if the bail is paid within the next four days.

Orsi, clutching a photograph of his baby daughter, broke into tears on hearing the judge’s decision. Greenpeace said it would make money available as soon as possible.

Thirty people aboard a Greenpeace ship were detained in Russia’s Arctic in September for a protest outside a floating oil rig and have been in custody since.

The activists were initially charged with piracy, but investigators later said they were bringing hooliganism charges and that piracy would be dropped.

The Primorsky court refused to release an Australian activist on Monday while another St. Petersburg court granted bail to three Russians aboard the ship including prominent photographer Denis Sinyakov.

Judges in Greenpeace hearings had previously agreed with prosecutors’ claims that foreign activists were a flight risk.

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