Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise Activists Charge Reduced To Hooliganism – Now Face Only 7 Years Prison Time

Various reports are coming out claiming that Russian authorities have reduced the charges against the Arctic Sunrise activists from piracy to hooliganism.

Russia’s RT here reports the lesser hooliganism charge carries a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison.

‘The actions of those involved in the criminal case have been  reclassified to the charge of hooliganism,’ the spokesman for  the Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, told the RIA  Novosti news agency.”

There seem to be conflicting claims on how long the activists may have to spend time in jail if convicted of hooliganism. CTV news here reports that the charge carries 15 days in prison only.

The piracy charges carry a 15-year prison term, while hooliganism is usually punished by 15 days in jail or a fine.”

That is likely very inaccurate. Back in the 1980s a young nutjob German pilot Matthias Rust famously flew his small Cessna through then Soviet airspace and landed on Red Square in Moscow, embarrassing the Soviet empire. For that deed he was, according to Wikipedia, “sentenced to four years in a general-regime labor camp for hooliganism, disregard of aviation laws and breaching of the Soviet border. He was never transferred to a labor camp and instead served his time at the high security Lefortovo temporary detention facility in Moscow. Two months later, Reagan and Gorbachev agreed to sign a treaty to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe, and the Supreme Soviet ordered Rust to be released in August 1988 as a goodwill gesture to the West.”

Should the activists be convicted of hooliganism, they’ll probably be sentenced to a couple of years and be out within a year or so. That probably won’t be long enough to teach a number of them a lesson. In fact, expect them to be given a hero’s welcome when they return. Barf! gag!


8 responses to “Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise Activists Charge Reduced To Hooliganism – Now Face Only 7 Years Prison Time”

  1. Casper

    Don’t worry about them. I bet they will be released by Tsar Putin on parole before the Winter Olympics in Sochi. You don’t know the east European mentality. 😉

  2. Mike Heath

    It is better for them to be jailed for a real crime than a fictitious one and everyone knows that the intentions of these people was not spying.

    Once convicted of hooliganism, they will not be able to claim innocence, only that their hooliganism was justified. If convicted of spying, they could legitimately always protest their innocence.

  3. Gary Turner

    I would be disappointed should the Russkies reduce the charges to mere delinquency. Piracy or attempted piracy is the correct charge:

    n 1: hijacking on the high seas or in similar contexts; taking a
    ship or plane away from the control of those who are
    legally entitled to it; “air piracy” [syn: {piracy},

    Only the Russians have the balls to handle this correctly, though they would sacrifice their grandmothers for political advantage.



  4. A.D. Everard

    It’s a shame. What about the violence of ramming the Coast Guard? Greenpeace activists are not nonviolent, no matter what they claim, and there’s plenty of footage showing that. Presumably they think when they ram a ship or a Coast Guard boat, it’s the other guys’ fault for not getting out of the way or for not giving in to their demands. I guess if someone had gone into the water and died, that would be construed as the victim’s fault, too.

    I was hoping the Russians would teach these terrorists a good lesson. These activists are not children. They are not innocent. They were not playing a prank.

    If they’re let loose too lightly, they’ll be right back in it and bragging about it.

    If that happens, I just hope they are stupid enough to take on the Russians again (it wouldn’t surprise me), then get served some real time.

    1. DirkH

      Backchannel diplomacy, haggling between EU and Russia.
      It’s not about the Greenpeace pawns, it’s about politics, and the gas price Europe has to pay.
      The pawns are useless if you can’t trade them in. But you can. So they do.

      1. petrossa

        They’ll be for sure out before the games. They might discover their ship malfunctions a bit however.

  5. eco-geek

    I think these guys have had a bit of a well deserved shock and when they get out instead of going back to their pretend war on oil and gas they might just cut their personal carbon budget and keep away from oil guzzling ships.

    Maybe they’ll get back to good old fashioned greenism and plant a few trees?

  6. R. de Haan

    Is their freaking boat sunk yet?

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