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PHIL BALL: Greenpeace activist is not free to leave Russia
8:00pm Friday 13th December 2013 in News
THE brother of Greenpeace activist Phil Ball has spoken of his frustration after Russian officials warned 30 bailed campaigners they would not be allowed to leave the country.
Mr Ball, 42, from Chipping Norton, is one of the so-called “Arctic 30” who were detained in September after Russian troops boarded their ship, the Arctic Sunrise.
The soldiers boarded the vessel after four Greenpeace members tried to scale a Russian oil platform to protest about drilling in the Arctic.
Earlier this month the Arctic 30 – who face charges of hooliganism – were granted bail. They have been living at a hotel in St Petersburg while they await their next court date.
Yesterday Greenpeace said Russia’s powerful Investigative Committee has written to one of the 30 – Anne Mie Jensen from Denmark – saying they are not free to leave the country.
Mr Ball’s brother Steve, 44, also a Greenpeace activist, said he was frustrated, but not surprised by the development.
He said: “This issue of whether or not they could serve their bail overseas is something we were aware of and this is just an endorsement of what we were expecting.
“This waiting game must be much worse for the activists but it is also very painful for the family members just to be left drifting from day to day.
“It is like you put your lives on hold.”
Lawyers for Greenpeace expect all of the non-Russian defendants to be treated in the same way as Ms Jensen and be forced to stay in St Petersburg over Christmas.
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