Oct. 3, 2013 AFP
Moscow - Russian investigators said Thursday they had charged all 30 crew members of Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise ship with piracy over a protest against Arctic oil exploration, an offence that carries the risk of a lengthy prison term.
A court in the northern city of Murmansk last week detained the crew members including freelance journalists for two months pending an investigation into their protest on an oil platform owned by energy giant Gazprom.
"All 30 participants in the criminal case have been charged over the attack on the Prirazlomnaya platform," the Investigative Committee said in a statement.
"They are all charged with... piracy committed by an organised group."
Piracy by an organised group carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years in Russia.
Investigators accused the activists of trying to seize property with threats of violence.
The first 14 activists were charged on Wednesday and the rest indicted Thursday.
Greenpeace denies the crew members -- who come from 18 different countries including Britain, Russia, New Zealand, Canada and France -- committed any crime.
"Our activists have been charged with a crime that did not happen," Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said in a statement. Read More