Netherlands takes legal action over piracy charges

The Netherlands launched legal action against Russia to free Greenpeace activists charged with piracy after staging a protest at an offshore oil platform in the Arctic, the Dutch government has said.

Photo purportedly showing Russian officials holding Greenpeace activists at gunpoint
Photo purportedly showing Russian officials holding Greenpeace activists at gunpoint Credit: Greenpeace

"The Netherlands today began an arbitration procedure on the basis of the [United Nations] Convention on the Law of the Sea," Frans Timmermans, foreign minister, wrote in a letter to parliament.

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Activists 'treated inhumanely'

Greenpeace activists being held in a Russian jail are suffering "inhuman treatment" says a lawyer for one of the British suspects. 30 people were charged with piracy after they approached an Arctic oil rig on a ship to protest against drilling.