UK & World News
Greenpeace To Appeal Over Russia Jailings
Greenpeace has said it will appeal over the jailing of 30 of its activists in Russia.
The group was detained last week as their ship circled near the Prazlomnaya oil platform in the Pechora Sea, where they were protesting at drilling in the region.
Armed officers stormed the Greenpeace ship after some of the activists attempted to get on to the platform and towed it back to Murmansk.
Six Britons were among the 30 people jailed on Thursday - but no charges have yet been brought.
Twenty-two were put in custody for two months pending an official investigation and the remaining eight were detained for three days pending a new hearing.
Russian authorities are looking into whether they could be charged with piracy, among other offences.
Greenpeace's Russia campaign director Ivan Blokov described the arrests as "the most aggressive and hostile act against Greenpeace since the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior ship".
Footage appears to show shots being fired by the coast guard as they intercepted the activists' attempt to scale the oil rig.
The group also spoke of being "terrified" when armed officers boarded their ship from a helicopter the following day.
The detained activists are from 18 countries, including Russia.
The Britons arrested are: Philip Ball - cameraman; Kieron Bryan - cameraman; Alexandra Harris - communications officer; Frank Hewetson - logistics co-ordinator; Anthony Perrett - activist; Iain Rogers - engineer.
Mr Rogers' mother, Sue Turner, told Sky News she had not yet been able to speak to her son.
"I was extremely worried," she said. "I know Iain will stand up for himself and for other people.
"He believes passionately about what they were doing. No way does he think they were behaving like pirates or with criminal intent.
"They didn't have any arms or anything on the ship. They were trying to stage a peaceful protest."
Greenpeace lawyer Anton Beneslavsky rejected claims that the group could have caused damage to the platform.
"If one activist hanging on the rope from the platform could have damaged it, then such a platform should not operate on the Arctic shelf," he told a news conference.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week he did not think the protesters were pirates but defended their detention, saying that coast guards had no way of knowing who they were.
The country's foreign ministry has also said the protesters' actions risked lives and could have caused an "environmental catastrophe".
Greenpeace claims the Arctic Sunrise was boarded illegally as the vessel was inside Russia's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), in which foreign vessels should be free to navigate.
Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya oil platform is due to begin extraction by the end of the year.
Russia's economy is largely dependent on income generated from the country's oil and gas industry.
Oil giants ExxonMobil, Eni and Statoil, along with other Norwegian firms, plan to drill for oil in Russia's Arctic waters in the coming months.
But Greenpeace has warned an oil spill would cause significant environmental damage and warns of fossil fuel extraction contributing to climate change.
Around 13% of the world's undiscovered oil reserves are believed to be beneath the Arctic Ocean.
The platform, which belongs to Gazprom's oil subsidiary, is the first offshore rig in the Arctic.