9 Nov 2013

Greenpeace protest held in Barcelona

10:20 am on 9 November 2013

Ten Greenpeace members scaled a landmark basilica in Barcelona on Friday demanding the release of 30 people arrested by Russia for taking part in a protest against Arctic oil drilling.

Banners reading ''Freedom'' were hung from the spires of the Sagrada Familia along with photos of those held in Russia.

The protestors remained perched about halfway up the spires of the basilica for about three hours while others on the ground handed out information on the Arictic arrests.

Greenpeace says it chose the basilica because it is known throughout the world.

Russian coastguard officers boarded the Arctic Sunrise icebreaker on 19 September and arrested the crew of 28 Greenpeace personnel and two journalists after an attempt was made to scale a Gazprom oil platform in the Arctic.

They were initially charged with piracy and placed in pre-trial detention in Russia until 24 November. Two are from New Zealand and another is from Tasmania. Investigators last month reduced the charge to hooliganism.

An international maritime court in Hamburg began hearing on Wednesday a Dutch complaint over Russia's detention of the Arctic Sunrise. Moscow boycotted the hearing.