MOSCOW, March 6 (RIA Novosti) – Greenpeace has filed a complaint against Russian authorities over their refusal to allow the environmental organization to inspect its ship, which has been in Russian custody for over five months.
The Arctic Sunrise icebreaker has been held in the northern port city of Murmansk since September when it was detained in international waters, along with all 30 people on board, during a Greenpeace protest over Arctic oil drilling.
Russia dropped all charges against the so-called Arctic 30 in December as part of a presidential amnesty, but investigators have refused to release the ship, citing the need to examine computer evidence found on board.
Greenpeace filed a complaint to a St. Petersburg court and a formal petition to the Investigative Committee this week, calling on Russian authorities to release the ship and for access to evaluate the vessel’s condition after the organization’s request to inspect it in October was denied.
“The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered an immediate release of the vessel more than three months ago,” Greenpeace said in a statement.
“The ship has been left in freezing conditions, likely without the necessary maintenance.”
Greenpeace said that though personal items belonging to the 30 people on board remained on the Arctic Sunrise, investigators have refused to name a timeframe for the ship’s release.