Russia Meets Its Match in Greenpeace ‘Pirates’
Milonov, a lawmaker in the local parliament of Russia???s second city of Saint Petersburg, has become a hate figure for gay rights activists and not just for his inflammatory rhetoric. He has also had a concrete effect on modern Russian society by introducing a hugely controversial law into the local parliament outlawing ???gay propaganda???. Once passed by the former imperial capital, the law was picked up by deputies in the federal lower house of parliament the State Duma and passed nationwide and was signed into law by President Putin in June. But activists say the law can be used for a broad crackdown against gays in Russia and the controversy has created a huge headache for the Kremlin which has faced calls for a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. But Milonov remains defiant in the face of the furore and makes no secret of his views about Fry who has called for Russia to be stripped of its right to host the Games and led an increasingly visible Internet campaign. ???For me Stephen Fry is a bringer of evil, as he expresses ideas which are evil,??? Milonov told AFP in an interview in Saint Petersburg. Milonov and Fry became arch enemies after the two men held a face-to-face meeting in Saint Petersburg in March and have traded insults through the media ever since. Fry is an implacable critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he once memorably said looked like the Dobby the House Elf from the Harry Potter books. ‘We don’t have to apologise’ Despite the outcry sparked by the adoption of the law both in Saint Petersburg and nationwide, Milonov sees no harm in what he describes as ???preventative??? legislation. ???It???s a declaration of our values, our response to the challenges of the present time.???
Russia Jails Greenpeace Activists After Arctic Drilling Protest Results In Piracy Charges
To install a tracking device so weapons can be aimed?” And finally: “The platform is a vessel, and getting on board without the captain’s permission may and in this case should be viewed as piracy.” Prirazlomnaya has been plagued with technical mishaps and the start of drilling has been delayed several times. Greenpeace insisted the rig was unsafe and attempted a second boarding on Sept. 19. This time they ran into stiffer resistance: Russian coast guards fired over their heads and towed the Arctic Sunrise to Murmansk, where the 30 people who had been on board were detained. On Sept. 26 and 27, a Murmansk court arrested them for two months on suspicion of piracy. Soon after the Russian authorities first indicated that piracy charges might be brought against the activists, President Vladimir Putin essentially repeated arguments from the anonymous comment. “Our border guards, our law enforcement agencies did not know who was trying to seize the rig posing as Greenpeace,” he said , adding: “It is perfectly obvious that they are not pirates.” Yet the court went ahead with the arrests. Putin has a history of publicly favoring clemency towards various detainees, such as members of the Russian opposition, without any effect on their actual treatment at the hands of the law enforcement authorities or courts. Asked to comment on this apparent disobedience, Putin is apt to shrug and point out that the courts and police do not formally report to him. The piracy charges are unprecedented and likely to be lifted, eventually. Yet the show of force is clearly meant to intimidate Greenpeace, so that it will think twice before continuing to pester Gazprom — it is not as though this were the first time. Activists have picketed the monopoly’s Moscow office, harassed exploration ships in the Arctic and generally made themselves a nuisance. Gazprom is a state-controlled mainstay of Russia’s hydrocarbon economy, and the government is, effectively, issuing a warning to activists to keep away from it.
Credit: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin By Gabriela Baczynska MOSCOW | Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:51pm EDT MOSCOW (Reuters) – A jailed member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot was hospitalized on Friday after going on a hunger strike to protest prison conditions, her husband said, but her condition was not clear. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was admitted to the hospital at the prison where she is serving a two-year term for a protest against President Vladimir Putin in Russia’s main Orthodox Christian cathedral, Pyotr Verzilov said. Verzilov said the acting head of the prison had described Tolokonnikova’s condition as “horrible” but had given no further details. He also said prison officials would not show him documents about her transfer to hospital or allow her lawyers to visit. The administration of the prison could not immediately be reached for comment, and prison service employees in the remote Mordovia region declined to comment. Tolokonnikova, 23, announced on Monday that she was starting a hunger strike to protest against “slave labor” at Corrective Colony No. 14, where she is serving her sentence, and that she had received a death threat from a senior prison official. She said inmates were forced to work up to 17 hours a day, deprived of sleep and subjected to collective punishment and violence from senior inmates enforcing order in a system reminiscent of the Soviet-era Gulag forced labor camps. Prison authorities dismissed her accusations that the jail is run in violation of Russian law and human rights standards. ABUSE CLAIM Earlier on Friday, Verzilov gave out a statement from Tolokonnikova in which she said prison guards had taken drinking water away from her isolation cell and one had roughly grabbed her and held her in place by her shoulders. The Mordovia branch of the prison service said the drinking water had been replaced by warm boiled water in accordance with doctor’s orders and that Tolokonnikova had refused to let medics check her body for bruises. Tolokonnikova and two other band members were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for a February 2012 protest in which they burst into Christ the Saviour Cathedral and prayed to the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Putin. Kremlin critics say their trial was part of a crackdown on dissent since Putin started a third term at the Kremlin in May 2012.
EU and Russia Will Find a Solution for South Stream to the Third Energy Package, Says Russian Deputy Minister of Energy
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Members of Surfers Against Sewage hold a “toilet protest” August 8, 2001 on Brighton Beach on the south coast of England. The protest was designed to highlight the fact that Britain”s coastline is one of the most contaminated in Europe, with raw sewage being pumped onto public beaches. Activists from the environmental organization Greenpeace rappel from a statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Sep. 5, 2002. Activists were protesting results of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, or Rio + 10, in Johannesburg. Banner reads: “Rio + 10 = Second Chance.” Anti-Waikato water protesters build a barricade in front of the gate Jun. 3, 2002 as about 70 protesters converge on to the Tuakau pumping station to protest the new Waikato pipeline that will pump water from the Waikato river to supply Auckland City. Many people are against the pipeline as they think the Waikato river water is not safe to drink. Japanese crew members from whaling ship Kyo Maru 1 use water cannons to disperse Greenpeace activists during an anti-whaling demonstration in the frezzing water of the Southern Ocean, Dec. 16, 2001. The activists repeatedly used their inflatable boats to slow the transfer of a freshly harpooned minke whale.