Russian authorities said they have opened a piracy investigation against Greenpeace activists who protested at a Gazprom offshore oil platform.
Vladimir Markin, the investigative committee spokesman, said the protest, which occurred last week at an Arctic oil rig owned by the state-controlled gas company, constituted piracy.
Russian border guards seized the organization's ship Thursday, after detaining two activists for climbing the rig to protest drilling.
Activists told RIA Novosti the protest was peaceful and they were unarmed.
Border guards towed the ship to land, and authorities said they will question the activists on board and detain any suspects.
Greenpeace said the allegations are unfounded and don't comply with Russian law on piracy.
"Article 227 of the Criminal Code on Piracy has three qualifying features: the capture of a vessel with the use of violence, for the purpose of appropriating someone else's property," Mikhail Kreindlin, a Greenpeace Russia campaigner, told RIA Novosti.
He said none of those conditions was met.
Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Original headline: Greenpeace activists accused of piracy after protest on Russia oil rig
Most Popular Stories
- 5 Notable Hispanic Technology Executives
- Top Hispanic Tech Companies Push for the Top
- Tesla's Alt-Energy Future Aims for Massive Lithium-Ion Battery Production
- Rand Paul Tops Presidential Straw Poll at Conservative PAC Conference
- Russia, Crimea Discuss Referendum
- China Urges Malaysia Flight Emergency Response
- New Chat App, Yik Yak, Causes Problems for Students
- Gas Prices May Jump from Calif. Emissions Law
- Obama Meets with Ukraine Prime Minister Wednesday
- Visa, MasterCard Team Up to Focus on Payment Security