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Dutch to take Russia to court over Greenpeace arrests

The Netherlands will today ask an international court to order Russia to release 30 people detained for their part in a Greenpeace protest against oil drilling in the Arctic.

Greenpeace ship "Arctic Sunrise" is seen anchored outside the Arctic port city of Murmansk. Credit: Reuters

The detainees - who include two Dutch nationals - have been held on hooliganism charges since September 18, when environmentalist activists tried to scale Russia's first offshore Arctic oil rig.

Dutch officials hope the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg will make a ruling by mid-November that would secure the provisional release of the captives who have all been denied bail.

Russia has told the court it does not accept the Netherlands' case and will not participate in the proceedings.