Credits: REUTERS/Igor Podgorny/Greenpeace/Handout
Two Canadian Greenpeace activists jailed more than a month in Russia will be moved to a less remote but not necessarily less harsh prison, the environmental organization said.
Paul Ruzycki, of Port Colborne, Ont., and Montrealer Alexandre Paul, along with 28 other activists, have been in custody 45 days in Murmansk, in the frigid northwestern part of the country, in what Greenpeace photos show to be spartan conditions.
Russian authorities seized the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise and detained everyone on board, collectively known as the Arctic 30, for a protest against an oil platform off Russia's northwestern coast.
Greenpeace said Friday it has learned from "diplomatic sources" that the group will be moved to a jail in St. Petersburg.
"There is no guarantee that conditions inside the new detention centre will be any better than in Murmansk. In fact, they could be worse," executive director Kumi Naidoo said in a statement.
Greenpeace also said the court's promise to drop charges of piracy against the prisoners has not materialized. Instead, each was additionally charged with hooliganism. The offences carry maximum sentences of 15 and seven years, respectively.
Earlier this week, family members of the detained Canadians urged Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to step up efforts to have them released.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton, as well as the European Commission and 11 Nobel laureates, have all spoken out publicly about the case.