12 Nov 2013

Oil protest detainees moved from Murmansk

9:06 am on 12 November 2013

Greenpeace in Russia says it will take 27 hours by train for people arrested after a protest against Arctic oil drilling to get to pre-trial detention centres in St Petersburg.

The 30 detainees from 18 nations, including two from New Zealand, are being moved from the Arctic port of Murmansk where they have been held since September on charges first of piracy and now of hooliganism.

The 28 activists and two reporters, arrested in September after protesting against oil exploration in the Barents Sea, left their detention centre at 5am local time on Monday and were put on a train which has a special carriage for transporting prisoners.

A spokesperson for Greenpeace Russia, Alexey Kiselev, told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme the detainees will have access to better assistance in St Petersburg.

However he says there are several detention centres there, so they could be separated and held in different locations.