Published On: Fri, Aug 18th, 2017

Norway arrests 35 Greenpeace activists

Oslo: Norway’s Coast Guard have seized a Greenpeace vessel and arrested 35 activists after they violated the safety zone around a drilling rig in the Barents Sea, a media report said on Friday.

Norway’s Coast Guard have seized a Greenpeace vessel and arrested 35 activists

Protesting the drilling at the Korpfjell field on Thursday, Greenpeace activists entered the 500-metre safety zone around the rig Songa Enabler with kayaks and a floating globe with signatures from people all over the world demanding an end to the ongoing drilling, Xinhua news agency reported.

Korpfjell field is the northernmost oil-drilling area ever set up in the Barents Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. It is located some 415 km from mainland Norway, the report said.

The police ordered the protestors to leave the security zone, saying Norwegian state-owned oil company Statoil had permission to drill in the area.

When Greenpeace refused to leave, the police requested the Coast Guard to take action. Shortly afterwards, crew members from the Coast Guard boarded Greenpeace’s vessel Arctic Sunrise, arrested its crew and took control of the ship.

Truls Gulowsen, head of Greenpeace Norway, disputed the Coast Guard’s right to board the ship and urged Norwegian authorities to be more worried about climate change.

“The Norwegian coast guard doesn’t have the right to board or remove our ship. Protest at sea is an internationally recognised lawful use of the sea, related to the freedom of navigation,” he said.

“The Norwegian government seems more interested in protecting the reckless Arctic oil drilling operation carried out by state-owned Statoil, than listening to the concerns voiced by people from all over the world and protecting the right to protest against the opening of a new, aggressive oil frontier in the Arctic,” Gulowsen said.

 

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