Wednesday 08 February 2023

Greenpeace activist writes to the king for help

A Dutch Greenpeace activist imprisoned in Russia has written to king Willem-Alexander asking him for help.

Faiza Oulahsen, one of the 30 crew members of the Arctic Sunrise, asks the king to raise the question of her and her fellow activists’ plight when he visits Russian president Vladimir Putin next week.

‘My fellow captives and I would appreciate it very much,’ she writes in her letter, published on Friday in the AD.

The 30-strong crew was arrested in September and the ship seized and towed to Murmansk. They had been taking part in protests against Gazprom drilling in the Arctic sea.


The crew members were originally charged with piracy, but that was later reduced to hooliganism which carries a prison sentence of seven years.

‘I hope sincerely that you can mean something for us and our situation,’ Oulahsen writes. She says that her cell during the first three weeks of captivity had leaking water pipes, a window that would not close and a toilet that did not work. ‘At night, the rats found their way to my filthy cell.’

King Willem-Alexander and queen Máxima will be formally received by Putin on the evening of November 8. Their visit marks the end of a year of celebrations marking 400 years of contact between the two countries.

The Netherlands is taking Russia to the international tribunal of the sea in an effort to have the crew and ship released.However, Russia says it will not cooperate with the tribunal.


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