Russia releases Dutch Greenpeace activists on bail

Two Dutch activists with environmental organisation Greenpeace have been released on bail from prison in Russia.

Faiza Oulahsen (26) and Mannes Ubels (42) were told in court on Wednesday they can wait for their trial in February outside prison. A number of the other 30 activists arrested in September have also been released on bail.

The activists were arrested in September after protesting against Russian drilling in the Arctic Sea. Their ship Arctic Sunrise, which was sailing under the Dutch flag, was also seized.


Greenpeace has paid €45,000 each in bail for all of the activists released so far, the organisation said. It expects them to be released from jail by the weekend.

‘We are still not clear about the conditions they are being released under,’ the spokesman is quoted as saying by BNR radio. ‘It is not clear if they will be allowed to leave Russia.’

One activist, Australian national Colin Russell, was remanded in custody for a further three months. It is not clear why he is still being held.

‘The first thing I am going to do is eat a good meal and phone my family because I have not spoken to them for two months,’ Oulahsen said in a video message.

Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans welcomed the decision to release the activists but said they should be freed without conditions rather than on bail.

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