Canadian now among activists charged with piracy after protest: Greenpeace

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Greenpeace says one of the Canadian activists detained in Russia after protesting at a Russian oil platform has been charged with piracy.

A Greenpeace spokesman said in an email this morning that Montrealer Alexandre Paul had been officially charged and that the group was awaiting word on the other Canadian, Paul Ruzycki of Port Colborne, Ont., who was serving as the ship's chief mate.

On Wednesday, Greenpeace had said 14 other of its activists who were detained after protesting at the Russian oil platform had been charged with piracy, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

It had said more activists, including the two Canadians, were expected to be formally charged on Thursday and Friday.

Activists from Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia and Sweden were among 30 people who were on board the Greenpeace ship that was seized by the Russian Coast Guard following a Sept. 18 protest.

Two of the activists had tried to scale an offshore platform owned by Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom to call attention to the environmental risks of drilling in Arctic waters.

All 30 are being held in jails in Murmansk, a port above the Arctic Circle.

--With files from The Associated Press

Organizations: Greenpeace, Coast Guard, Gazprom The Associated Press

Geographic location: Russia, Port Colborne, Arctic Canada Argentina Brazil Britain Finland Netherlands Poland Sweden Murmansk

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