Greenpeace detainees, including Canadians, moved to new Russian jail

The Greenpeace activists being held in a Russian jail — including two Canadian men — are being transferred to a different facility.

The environmental organization says it has learned from diplomatic sources that the so-called Artctic 30 are slated to be moved to a St. Petersburg prison from the current jail in Murmansk, a port city near Norway and Finland.

Montrealer Alexandre Paul and Paul Ruzycki, of Port Colborne, Ont., were among those arrested on the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise on Sept. 18.

In a recent letter, Paul said the Murmansk prison was cold and that the activists had been separated from each other.

But Greenpeace says it doesn’t mean the conditions at the new facility will be any better.

Russia seized the Arctic Sunrise after a Sept. 18 protest at a Gazprom oil-drilling platform in the Arctic circle. The group on the ship included 28 Greenpeace activists, a Russian photographer and a British videographer.

The organization says the 30 have not had the piracy charges against them dropped, as they’d expected.

Greenpeace says that instead of dropping the piracy charge, which carries a maximum 15-year sentence, a charge of hooliganism has simply been added for some of the accused. The hooliganism charge carries a maximum seven years in jail.

Greenpeace has denied any wrongdoing and describes the charges as absurd.

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