Greenpeace activists must stay in Russia

Canadian Greenpeace activist Paul Ruzycki, one of the 30 people who were arrested over a Greenpeace...

Canadian Greenpeace activist Paul Ruzycki, one of the 30 people who were arrested over a Greenpeace protest at the Prirazlomnaya oil rig, is pictured as he is released on bail from prison in St. Petersburg in this November 22, 2013 handout photo by Greenpeace. (REUTERS/Vladimir Baryshev/Greenpeace/Handout via Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

Two Canadian Greenpeace activists won't be home for Christmas after a Russian judge ruled the so-called Arctic 30 must stay in the country.

In a press release Friday, Greenpeace stated the decision violates an international court order that the activists be allowed to leave immediately.

Paul Ruzycki, 48, of Port Colborne, Ont., and Alexandre Paul, 36, of Montreal, both remain in Russia on bail after being arrested after boarding an oil platform in the Pechora Sea in September.

Russia's investigative committee wrote to one member of the Arctic 30, Anne Mie Jensen, of Denmark, stating she's not able to leave the country, according to the release, and Greenpeace lawyers expect other non-Russian activists to be treated the same.

Lawyers had requested visas from Russia's Federal Migration Service (FMS), the release stated, so the activists could leave St. Petersburg and return if summoned by authorities. Jensen's letter said the investigative committee denied the request to FMS.

A November ruling by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered Russia to allow the Arctic 30 to immediately leave the country.

The activists had hoped to be released on amnesty on the 20th anniversary of Russia's post-communist constitution.

Ruzycki told his sister earlier this week, "We've been hoping against all hope, but now we're being warned not to get our expectations up too high."

There's still a chance for amnesty, if an amendment to a current decree before the government adds dropping legal proceedings against the Arctic 30.


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