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Greenpeace in Spain protests 28 arrested in Russia

November 8, 2013

MADRID (AP) — Greenpeace activists have climbed the facade of Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia basilica to protest Russia’s arrest of 28 members of their organization.

The protesters clung to the church’s intricate stonework Friday and unfurled banners in several languages demanding “Liberty” for the activists arrested in the Arctic Ocean.

Russia’s coast guard disrupted an attempt by Greenpeace on Sept. 18 to scale a Gazprom-owned oil-drilling platform, seized their ship — the icebreaker Arctic Sunrise — and arrested the 28, plus a Russian photographer and a British videographer.

They were first accused of piracy, but Russian officials later said the charge was downgraded to hooliganism, which carries a maximum seven-year sentence.

The Arctic Sunrise sails under the Dutch flag, and Netherlands has begun legal action against Russia’s seizure of the vessel.

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