Russia versus Greenpeace 210


Russia is casting around for legal measures it can use against Greenpeace.  To any reasonable person the accusation of piracy is ludicrous.  Russia has come to it because there is no other charge over which it can claim jurisdiction.

Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which Russia has ratified and is in force, the criminal jurisdiction of a coastal state operates only within its territorial sea of up to twelve miles.  Beyond that it may have an exclusive economic zone of up to two hundred miles, and a continental shelf may extend even beyond that; but within those zones the rights of coastal states are limited to jurisdiction over economic activity and mineral exploitation.

The Russians appear very aware of the legal position.  When the Greenpeace activists were first arrested, I heard on BBC World Service radio here in Accra a Russian government spokesman say the vessel appeared to be towing a seismic buoy.  Greenpeace explained it was a survival pod.  But the point is, if it had been a seismic buoy, that would have been an economic activity which the Russian government is indeed entitled to regulate, so it was s thought out pretext (though I have no doubt a dishonest one).

Obviously the argument that they were engaged in unlawful economic activity may have justified the original arrest but quickly falls.  What else is left?  The seas above the exclusive economic zone are part of the High Seas – a fact often misunderstood.  The only criminal activity on the High Seas over which a state other than the flag state of the vessel can claim jurisdiction is piracy.  So if the Russians want to bring charges, it is piracy or nothing.

Of course any sensible government would opt for nothing, and accept that demonstrations happen.  The Russian government is not sensible in that sense, and would far rather throw away the international kudos gained over Syria, than admit for one second that Putin is not in complete macho control of absolutely everything.

The stupid thing about all this is that Russia has every legal right to be drilling for oil in the Arctic, a great deal of which is rightly within Russia’s exclusive economic zone.  The Russians have the right to drill, and Greenpeace have the right to protest about it.

What this is not, is piracy.  Greenpeace were not intending to steal or damage any rig, vessel or cargo, or to commit violence.  They were just protesting.  The definition of piracy in UNCLOS is quite clear:

Article 101

Piracy consists of any of the following acts:

(a) any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed:

(i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft;

(ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State;

(b) any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft;

(c) any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph (a) or (b).

 Plainly this is not piracy.

 


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210 thoughts on “Russia versus Greenpeace

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  • mike

    Yes to all, the anomalies with Westgate are starting to pile up now and I notice the White Widow thread has plummeted down the Beeb’s newslist, a sure sign that the story is being dropped.

    Was Westgate actioned to shore up a grand narrative that was starting to look decidedly shaky? Russia Today has stayed focused on Syria, rather than chase the squirrel. Nice word that, Mark. Never heard it used before in context.

  • BrianFujisan

    Mary

    Re ‘Iran’s nuclear weapons programme’

    The Master of the Universe Speaks, on our Knees and Listen up in Awe

    “You certainly need to see more than words, yes the rhetoric is different and the speech may be different and I welcome that…”

    “Iran could come and demonstrate cooperation so the actions they need to take are fairly clear”

    Blair said during an interview with Al Arabiya’s New York Bureau Chief Talal al-Haj.

    Blair stressed that the Iranian government should show more cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), noting that the agency had been critical of Iran recently.
    He said to the IAEA and the international community.

    The Little evil Fuckwit makes me ill

    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2013/09/26/Tony-Blair-.html

  • Passerby

    Scientists are 95% certain humans causing climate change

    Scientists were 100 percent sure Earth was flat.

    Scientists were 100 percent sure Sun ran around Earth.

    Scientists were 100 percent sure Earth was at the centre of the universe.

    Scientists were 100 percent sure spontaneous generation, was the only cause of life.

    Nothing changed then?

    Although the greedy banksters are bent on selling us the oil, and then charging us for the emissions, as the water companies do, sell the water after and charge for taking it away too. Nice going; for fleecing we the people.

    The same old tired polar bear spending his time on an ice slab during the Arctic summer is passed as the fault of the flatulence of the cow that was fed to me, that helped me to drive the car that emitted the fumes, that in turn made the Arctic warmer!

    The degree of certainty leaves little doubt that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are responsible for climate change and compares to a finding of 90 per cent certainty in the previous – fourth – assessment six years ago. This, in turn, was a significant increase on the 66 per cent certainty reached in 2001’s third assessment and just over 50 per cent in 1995.

    Just like war on terror, there are new converts everyday, swelling the ranks of the believers, and the grantees, and the granted. Money talks!

  • Passerby

    BrianFujisan said;

    Blair stressed that the Iranian government should show more cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), noting that the agency had been critical of Iran recently.
    He said to the IAEA and the international community.

    The Little evil Fuckwit makes me ill

    Agreed, and ditto.

    The very same IAEA and the international community. that completely ignored the shitty little strip of land’s nuclear bombs, and thermonuclear bombs. By bribing its way to ignore the very clear and present dangers of WMD in the possession of a bunch of psychotics suffering from persecution complex, as their erratic historical conduct attests.

    ====

    Serfdom is just fine and dandy;

    The police inquiry is continuing but prosecutors have not been asked to consider charges against the former head of A4e, the entrepreneur Emma Harrison, who last year quit her role as the Government’s “family champion” as allegations unfolded.

    Welfare-to-work employees face fraud charges

    In the other news a mother has been found guilty of defrauding the DSS for an extra tin of formula for her toddler! (Justice indeed)

  • Mary

    Should be interesting. Should we send Mrs Hodge over to Nairobi?

    ‘Kenya’s Westgate siege: MPs to quiz security chiefs
    Kenya’s security chiefs have been summoned to appear before parliament’s defence committee for questioning over the Westgate mall siege.

    The BBC’s David Okwembah says a blame game is playing out in the Kenyan media, with various security agencies pointing the finger at each other.’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24298677

  • A Node

    Mary 27 Sep, 2013 – 8:01 am

    “The number of Americans giving up their citizenship has rocketed this year – partly, it’s thought, because of a new tax law that is frustrating many expats.”

    The new law “… to track down the wealthy tax-dodgers” is called the “Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act.”
    Nice try, US legislators, but couldn’t you have added one more word (beginning with ‘T’).

  • Mary

    Passerby To continue….

    Serious Fraud Office considers probe into Serco over tagging

    Thu Sep 26, 2013

    (Reuters) – Global outsourcing group Serco could be investigated by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) alongside rival G4S after an audit showed they charged for tagging criminals who were either dead, in prison or never tagged at all.
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/09/26/uk-serco-sfo-idUKBRE98P12Q20130926

    Yet Agent Cameron continues to give these tricksters contracts to run public services.

    Remember their fraud on the £32m contract to run GP out of hours service in Cornwall. Jul7 2013

    MPs condemn Serco for substandard out of hours service in Cornwall

    A private firm providing a GP out of hours service in Cornwall has been described as bullying and inhibiting staff from whistleblowing when things started to go wrong.

    In a highly critical report published on 11 July by the parliamentary public accounts select committee, MPs accused Serco of bullying employees, providing a short staffed and substandard service, and manipulating data to hide the truth.

    Out of hours GP services in Cornwall are provided by Serco for NHS Kernow, the clinical commissioning group for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, as part of a five year contract worth £32m (€37m; $47m).

    http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f4479

  • anon

    O/T Supermarket petrol price war breaking out.

    Unleaded yesterday 137.9p/l

    Today 129.9p/l

    Why now? Are oil prices falling?

    They clearly have a glut in the Surrey Alps following everyone being kettled in their homes last weekend!

  • anon

    “Scientists were 100 percent sure Earth was flat.

    Scientists were 100 percent sure Sun ran around Earth.

    Scientists were 100 percent sure Earth was at the centre of the universe.

    Scientists were 100 percent sure spontaneous generation, was the only cause of life.”

    They were hardly practicising scientists in those days more like religious fundamentalists – scientists tend to look at the evidence religious fundamentalists look to their prejudices.

  • Jemand

    Yes, it is a pretty bold, indeed arrogant statement to say that scientists (who?) claimed that the world was flat and now (the very same?) scientists speak of 95% certainty of anthropogenic climate change, and therefore imply that scientists (and science?) now has no credibility.

    And I think it was the priests who said that the Earth was at the centre of the universe while ancient philosophers conceived of other planetary arrangements that conformed more closely to their observations.

    I offer this to climate change “sceptics” – A camel’s burden might go through many natural cycles, some of them extreme, but the straw that broke its back was placed there by man.

  • Mary

    ‘The fall in forecourt prices will be a huge relief for motorists who, only weeks ago, had been warned they could be hit hard by the continuing instability in the Middle East.

    But the easing of tension, especially with both Britain and America ruling out an attack on Syria, has seen oil prices on the world market drop.

    Since the second week of this September, after the US and Russia defused the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, the wholesale price of petrol has fallen from 47p a litre to just below 45p a litre. It had hit a late summer high of 52p a litre in the last week of August.’

    Supermarkets launch new petrol price war
    A supermarket forecourt war has erupted with Sainsbury’s cutting the cost of unleaded by six pence a litre. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/10336095/Supermarkets-launch-new-petrol-price-war.html

  • Passerby

    A non optimistically stated;

    They were hardly practicising scientists in those days more like religious fundamentalists – scientists tend to look at the evidence religious fundamentalists look to their prejudices.

    Indeed, yet they claimed thus, as the current batch claiming to be “Scientists” these days, do. (science is a new phenomenon too, a kind of a modern concept) Evidently.

    Interesting, that keyboard warriors have been mobilised to defend the human hating, big bang believing, grant seeking, “scientists” who can so easily apportion blame to the humanity, and we should all accept that! (supremascists says so, because of their “piercing obser….” etc.)

    Earth is not part of the solar system that is not a part of the milky way that is not hurtling in the directions unknown ……

    Earth is a closed system that has been around for the last few hundred years (because the logs kept are that old), or was it “6000 years”? Never before Earth has experienced ice ages, or climate changes, calamitous astral bodies crashing into it, and species have not ceased to exist, and ………..

    =====

    Mary, it continues;

    Lord Rennard will not face criminal charges over sexual harassment allegations

  • Dreoilin

    “Never before Earth has experienced ice ages, or climate changes, calamitous astral bodies crashing into it, and species have not ceased to exist, and ………”

    Yes, we know all that, sarcasm or not.
    But it’s no argument against current man (and woman) made global warming. (Or climate change, for those who insist on pointing at scenes of snow in various parts of the world.)

    I’m sick of looking at teabaggers who can barely count up to 10, blogging pictures of snowey scenes from around the U.S. and writing “Global warming? Bwahahahahahahahaha!”

    I won’t be alive when they change their tune, but for that alone, I wish I could be.

  • Mary

    I can’t bear to look for any more.

    He is one of the Lords who has an interest in the private sector and who voted ‘loyally'(from another website) for the Health and Social Care Act, 2012 which allows for privatisation of the NHS.

    Sunday, 25 March 2012
    One in Ten Liberal Democrat Peers have financial links to Companies involved in Private Healthcare

    5. Lord Rennard: Director, British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) – Voted loyally on the Health and Social Care bill – The BHTA’s purpose, as a trade association, is to ensure that the market for healthcare and assistive technologies is competitive, profitable and well-regulated. They work in partnership with industry, government, and other stakeholders. Set up a communications company with his wife called Rennard & McTegart Ltd. through this company provides public affairs advice to the British Healthcare Trade Association. Rennard & McTegart Ltd provide management, campaign, communications and fund raising consultancy.

    http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/one-in-ten-liberal-democrat-peers-have.html

  • Fred

    “Scientists were 100 percent sure Earth was flat.”

    No they weren’t, people have known the earth wasn’t flat since the stone age, that is a myth originated by a work of fiction about Columbus written in the 1930s.

    “Scientists were 100 percent sure Sun ran around Earth.”

    Scientists knew the earth revolved around the sun, they just couldn’t say so because it was illegal to contradict the bible. Ancient astronomers couldn’t have done the calculations they did if they hadn’t known the workings of the solar system.

    It was another of those cases where people spent their whole lives studying, becoming experts in their field, gathering and analysing data then just getting shouted down by people who knew nothing, understood less but had beliefs.

  • Phil

    Fred 27 Sep, 2013 – 3:52 pm
    “No they weren’t, people have known the earth wasn’t flat since the stone age, that is a myth originated by a work of fiction about Columbus written in the 1930s.”

    And of course columbus and other explorers were never in fear of falling off, which might have been expected had they believed in a flat earth. I am surprised by the recent birth of this myth. What book was it fred?

  • John Goss

    If you look at the horizon at sea you can see the curvature of the earth. The Egyptians and Babylonians were more clued up than AD scientists mostly because the Catholic Church taught that the earth was flat, though where it got that teaching from I don’t know. The church told Copernicus to go and try again when he was making such solid progress in restoring knowledge that had been lost. A good book on the subject, though like me a bit dated now, is “The Sleepwalkers” by Arthur Koestler.

  • Fred

    “And of course columbus and other explorers were never in fear of falling off, which might have been expected had they believed in a flat earth. I am surprised by the recent birth of this myth. What book was it fred?”

    They would have been using navigational instruments which relied on a knowledge that the earth was spherical.

    I just did a quick google for the book, it turns out it was actually written in 1828, not that far out.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_History_of_the_Life_and_Voyages_of_Christopher_Columbus

  • anon

    “Interesting, that keyboard warriors have been mobilised to defend the human hating, big bang believing, grant seeking, “scientists” who can so easily apportion blame to the humanity, and we should all accept that!”

    No we just believe in the scientific method – you know formulate hypothesis based on observable evidence, test hypothesis with further evidence, if hypothesis not supported by the evidence either abandon original hypothesis or develop new hypothesis based on existing evidence. Most scientists are more than happy to admit when their hypotheses are not supported by the evidence, the degree of (statistical) certainty that can be attached to their current hypothesia and where further work is required – if you look more closely at the recent announcement you will see that scientists are more than happy to admit that they don’t yet have an explanation as to why the rate of temperature increase has slowed down in recent years.

    Of course you could use the alternative of formulating a hypothesis on basis of pre-existing prejudice (or faith if your prefer), select any evidence that you believe supports your hypothesis, reject any evidence that doesn’t (and just shout down/ignore/rubbish those people who put forward such awkward alternative views)and carry on in blind ignorance ad infinitum?

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “If you look at the horizon at sea you can see the curvature of the earth. ”

    Not sure of the origin, but crow’s nest spyglassing revealed the top of the mast coming up on the vanishing point and rising higher on the ships approach.

  • Passerby

    The irony of it all!

    It now transpires; stone age men despite not discerning their elbow from their temple (semiotics difficulties aside) however the said apes did know Earth was round!

    The fact is going missing upon the participants; reality is open to many interpolations. Each time line of experience will be bringing a differing aspect of reality as it has been experienced to the fore. However, given the degrees of misanthropy and hatred of humanity as a whole. This promoted by the vested interests. Thus the hatred that is apportioning the blame on humanity, somehow remaining a constant is over looked.

    The current “climate change” (climate is a constant evidently, no seasonal changes, no time dependence, and no relationships to/correlations with the nothingness (space) that is next to it) not taking account of many other factors, somehow “climate change” debate always end up with urging we the people to;

    1- Pay more for our energy use; expensive energy means parsimonious use of energy. Hence the OAP dying from hypothermia is in fact part of the price to keep our climate from changing.

    1.a- The charge hands of the plutocrats like the notion in 1, because the best way to raise taxes from the captive audiences is to exact a higher taxation tariffs from their daily needs for energy. further there is the “carbon credit” that is to be traded, making even more money, for the plutocrats. (who is paying for it all?)

    1.b- The corporates like it; gives them a plausible excuse to engage in shallow, and theatrical endeavours to keep the climate from changing while making sure the bottom line stays pretty healthy for the benefit of the shareholders.

    2- The climate change is evidently, hinging on all things “carbon”. This scarce element that is not forming the whole basis of life on Earth has come to be the culprit that ought to be kept at leash.

    2.a- Carbon foot prints are calculated for every pound of meat, for every mile of travel, for every piece of footwear, and so on …

    2.b- Carbon foot prints are not calculated for “Howitzers, Tanks, Helicopter gunships, fighter jets, destroyers, submarines, missiles, machine-guns, rifles, soldiers (training thereof) ordnance, and discharge of the said ordnance for practice and during the various wars that has been waged upon various nations.

    3- The misanthropy so prevalent overrides sense and reason, to blame the victims of the corporate and government mismanagement, and to further extort any residual income at the disposal of the these victims; that is you and I.

    The simple fact that Nuclear energy is out, the Hydrocarbon energy is out, however the wind power is in, and the solar power is in, should be a good enough reason to doubt the integrity of anyone pontificating thus. However the cognitive dissonance; “what about the children” trumps all reason, and opens up a whole new game of “what if” scenarios that are taken seriously and prevaricated about.

    Pavlov dogs were conditioned with food, our societies are conditioned for; hatred, condescension, and “the others are dumb”.

    Little knowledge is dangerous, and whence futurology forms the basis of any dogma/transaction, it is indeed new territories for exploitation of the same dumb masses under a differing pretext!

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