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Argentine Greenpeace activist Camila Speziale demands apology over arrest in Russia

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, December 29, 2013 1:18 EDT
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A member of the Aurora Greenpeace team waves a "Save the Arctic" flag, on April 13, 2013 at the North Pole
 
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An Argentine Greenpeace activist amnestied by Russia after being thrown in jail for protesting oil drilling in the Arctic demanded an apology from Moscow on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters at Buenos Aires International Airport following her release, Camila Speziale said Russia owed an apology to the 30 activists who were arrested and held in custody for three months.

“Russia should apologize to us all,” Speziale said as she arrived home with fellow Argentine activist and detainee Hernan Perez Orsi.

The 21-year-old also hit out at her treatment, saying her “isolation had added to a strong sense of injustice.”

“Everyone knew we was completely innocent, they arrested us in international waters not in Russia,” she added. “We accepted the amnesty because it was the only way out.”

A Brazilian activist amongst the Greenpeace protesters arrested also returned to her homeland on Saturday.

Ana Paula Maciel, a 31-year-old biologist, told reporters upon her return to Porto Alegre that she would “continue” her fight against oil exploration in the Arctic.

“I will continue to work and navigate,” she said.

“I accepted the risk because it is worth it. Russia had to admit that we are not pirates.”

The Greenpeace activists had been on board the Dutch-flagged ship Arctic Sunrise, targeting an offshore oil rig owned by the Russian energy giant Gazprom when they were seized in September by Russian security forces who winched down from a helicopter.

The activists had faced lengthy prison terms before Moscow announced amnesties for those detained.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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