ST. PETERSBURG, November 12 (RIA Novosti) – Thirty activists and journalists detained by Russian authorities aboard a Greenpeace icebreaker were Tuesday relocated to detention centers in St. Petersburg, after spending more than six weeks imprisoned in the Arctic city of Murmansk.
Greenpeace International said the group arrived at St.Petersburg’s Ladozhsky Railway Station just after midday local time.
The prisoners were transported in a specialized prison carriage connected to a passenger Murmansk-St.Petersburg train.
Train voyages between the two cities typically take around 27 hours to complete.
The St. Petersburg and Leningrad Province prison service confirmed the arrival and said nobody had voiced any complaints.
Prison officials said that members of the group were placed in an unspecified number of St. Petersburg pre-trial detention centers.
The 28 activists and two reporters were detained in September during a protest at an Arctic Sea oil platform run by an affiliate of energy giant Gazprom and subsequently placed in custody.
The charges have been criticized both in Russia and abroad. In the most recent appeal, the Kremlin’s human rights council wrote a letter, published on its website Tuesday, to Russia’s chief investigator Alexander Bastrykin asking for the group to be freed from jail pending investigations.
The letter was signed Friday, but the investigators have not publicly responded to it.
Investigators initially charged all 30 people aboard the icebreaker with piracy, but later downgraded the charges to hooliganism. They face a maximum punishment of up to seven years in jail, if found guilty.