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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  • Fred


    Take a look around you. You are surrounded by evidence of scientist’s hypothesis that proved correct. the computer you are using, the electricity which powers it, the phone lines it’s connected to and the wireless router. The mobile phone, the GPS which relies on Einstein’s theory of relativity being correct.

    Yet you produce a list of myths to try and prove that they always get it wrong.

  • Phil

    Passerby 27 Sep, 2013 – 5:26 pm

    I believe that man made climate change is a real threat. Previous to your comment I thought I thought this because of the overwhelming scientific consensus. But thanks I now realise I am just a dogmatic, pavlovic, dumb, wind-loving, gullible misanthrope.

  • Chris Jones

    An email kindly sent by the great ngo Avaaz;

    “But acting to reverse the damage to our planet will take courage and politicians have used the false “climate debate” fueled by right-wing climate deniers as excuses for inaction. That’s why big oil and energy spend so much time funding junk science to question the fact of climate change and the plan needed to reverse its devastation.”

    So anyone with a different view about climate debate (the term man made global warming has been dropped now) that doesnt fit in with the world’s government funded scientists are “right-wing climate deniers”

    This nonsense has to end

  • nevermind Ian Dale's caution for being violent in front of children, what about caroline Lucas?

    Yes it looks like the concern for her was planned, Mary. Ian Dale still keeps his column in the EDP and I’m about to write a letter on the issue.

    Cameron now makes fracking noises and talks about Labours own goal,in promising energy price freeze. These energy companies are blackmailing us if they can’t have their mega profits.
    Thing is,these pirates will now raise the prices quarter annually to make a buck before Ed might come to power, its all happening on our backs.
    Labour should have talked of nationalisation, not stalling prices, what a bunch of pussy cats. Nationalise all energy generation, the grid and the gas terminals, build our own gas storage facilities, screw Centrica’s oligarchs.

    Nationalise the lot, except community energy generation schemes, self generation, power derived from wave and sea currents and community owned wind farms.

    Never been to Crawley and have stuff to do on the 9th, but I think there are going to be thousands and the police will try and stop buses approaching, plenty of scope for harassing her supporters.

    Would be good to know how many supermarkets are nearby, for parking, and were one can get a decent cuppa/nosh.

    Its in the public interest top free Caroline Lucas, there and then, case dismissed for wasting precious public money on fluff, CPS, not at all in the public interest!

  • BrianFujisan

    Looks Like Japa Finally getting the Message, wonder Who will Follow –

    Naoto Kan speaks out
    Japan’s prime minister at the time of the nation’s worst postwar disaster tells Edan Corkill about his political principles, his mistakes and his ongoing anti-nuclear mission — as well as what really happened, and might have happened, in the dark days of March 2011

    “When the plant was constructed back in the late 1960s they actually excavated a bluff so that they could build it lower down and closer to the sea’s level. It is a site where groundwater naturally seeps from the mountains and into the sea.

    So the risk of what’s happening now was recognized early on (after the March 2011 events), and I instructed the joint crisis headquarters to consider a suggestion that subterranean walls be built down to the bedrock around the plant. But Tepco decided that was going to be too expensive, and opted only to build a wall on the seaward side. [Construction began in October 2011.] What’s happening now demonstrates that this piecemeal approach was insufficient.

    Now the proposal is to make a wall of frozen soil around the plant, which will apparently be cheaper because underground utilities going into the plant — cables and so forth — will not have to be severed”.

    Nevermind did you check out the wee video i left for you on page 4 of the Gordon Brown thread, SHARP Stuff

  • nevermind, its in the public interest to prosecute Ian dale for GBH

    Caroline’s statement taken from her site.

    “25 September 2013

    Caroline Lucas said:

    “Sussex police have today confirmed I am being charged with two offences arising out of my arrest in Balcombe on 19 August. One of the offences is for obstructing the highway. The other is for failing to comply with a police condition to move to a specified protest area.

    “I firmly believe in the right to peaceful protest and remain deeply concerned about the impact of fracking on climate change and the wider environment.

    “I have been advised by my lawyer to make no further comment at this stage.”

  • tony0pmoc

    I think I may have been accidentally unbanned.

    No, I don’t blame the moderator for making a mistake, because he didn’t like what I wrote….

    I have also been unbanned from websites in the USA….

    I think it is highly unlikely, because they have read what I have been writing on other websites…

    I think it’s far more likely that My ISP – or My Son Has changed My IP Address.

    So moderator – Look – This is My IP Address Now

    Add it to the file, like how I told you before.

    Glad Craig is Still Blogging….

    My Foot is a Lot Better Now

    Thank You,


  • A Node

    My view on the subject of manmade climate change is extremely provocative and last time this subject came up, I was subjected to prolonged vicious abuse. I dared to say I was undecided one way or the other.

    To summerise my heresy: I have heard persuasive views from both sides of the debate and I can see strong motives for both sides to manipulate the data. My experience leads me to believe that either side, the energy lobby or the carbon-trading-de-facto-world-government, is quite capable of the required degree of media control. I don’t understand how anyone with an awareness of the power of the media can achieve certainty on this subject.

    To save the usual knee-jerk operatives some time, let me point out that I have said nothing to justify the label ‘climate denier’.

  • fedup

    So anyone with a different view about climate debate (the term man made global warming has been dropped now) that doesnt fit in with the world’s government funded scientists are “right-wing climate deniers”

    Spot on Chris. It is fucking pitiful to find; “man made climate change”, “man made climate threat”, “man made disasters”. Just who the fuck is this man, who is causing all this shit storm? Not me for fucking certain, it is the other wanker who is breathing, walking and eating! Just watch how he is wasting resources?

    The transactions on this thread are a conflation of bigotry, hate, and truthiness. Bits of facts, that have been built around yet another Ponzi scheme, have come to be taken as the gospel truth, and the only meaning of life to be found. Everyone is talking of science of climate, yet all of the said luminaries would be scratching their butts to make a head or tail of a fucking simple Fourier transform, or a simple Newton–Raphson analysis. Hey that is a mere detail; I am telling you the science of climate is proof it is changing!

    Never mind the wisdom of luminaries passing on their scientific know how. How is about tackling the changing climate?

    That is other than sterilising the Chinese, Indians, the Arabs, and any brown skinned sorts, and killing heir elderly.

    Q- How do you tackle the climate change?

    R- Well built more efficient engines of course. Yeah that ought to do it, if only the fuel tax escalator was notched a few pounds higher, the manufactures will be forced to change their cars, because no one can afford to buy the petrol!

    Q- Hows about making public transport, safe, ie no more thugs and drunkards picking on the passengers and beating them up, or stealing their belongings, and mugging them?

    Q- Hows about a public transport that is 24/7/52 us running on time and is routed through every neighbourhood, with suitable hubs to branch out to various destinations? That is intercity and local.

    Q- Hows about free public transport?

    R- No, come on now, what the fuck is this talk all about, fucking communism?

    Best increase the taxation on fuel, and the energy, also not forgetting to make sure that pedestrians walk miles more because the whole fucking road system has been designed for the vehicular transport, and then the said vehicular transport is slowed down to a crawl by lights, paintings on the roads, road bumps, road furniture and holes in the road due to the lack of maintenance , added sleeping policemen.

    Then make the town centres unfashionable/expensive/no parking zones and send all the shoppers out of town to buy their shopping.

    Man made fucking climate change, of course will not tolerate any notions of nuclear batteries that run for years. No way siry, the lead acid technology going back to fucking Mesopotamia ought to be sufficient for the next millennia.

    Throughout the debate, it is all about constraints on the man in the street and beating upon him more, and reminding him how worthless, and insignificant his guilty arse is? Sure fire winning solution, for years the religious lot have been threatening the sinners with hell fire and brimstones. these days it is “global warming”, WMD, and “what if”; taayyrrorists, paedophiles, evil doers, inefficient engines, hoards of immigrants, etc.

    There again I am a right wing zealot with a cuppa of tea and me rich tea biscuit, with my Muslim agenda bent on making everyone; to speak in tongues and shit. What do you know, even I may be an oil baron when I ma not advocating tea to become the mandatory drink for all?

    Fucking pitiful, 1984 on fucking steroids is here and how mate.

  • Rehmat

    @Tony – Maldives, the Israel occupied Muslim island got its freedom when mass protests booted out US-Israel favourite president Mohamed Nasheed last year.

    The diplomatic relations between Maldives and the Zionist entity were established in 1965 – but severed by the president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in 1980 who after deposing Sultan Mohamed Farid I, declared the Island nation as a republic. The links were re-established on September 25, 2009 by the new president Mohamed Nasheed. Israeli military officials were reinvited to train Maldives’ security agencies. In 2010, Islamic group protested against the arrival of Israeli surgeons to work at the government run Indhra Gandhi hospital. They claimed Israeli doctors are notorious in organ harvesting for Israel.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    These things need to be tested full on – at full Stress Test…


    Craig Murray is Still Alive…

    What Can We Do Now??

    But Give Up???



  • fedup

    Incontrovertible proof:

    IPCC report: The financial markets are the only hope in the race to stop global warming

    The chairman of the IPCC warns that the only way to reduce large-scale fossil-fuel use is to ‘price’ carbon emissions
    The financial markets are humanity’s only hope in the battle against global warming, the world’s top climate expert declared today as he presented the most overwhelming case ever made that humans are responsible for rapidly increasing the Earth’s temperature.

    The same bunch of libor rigging, derivatives inventing, mortgage defrauding, banksters, are now the only buffer between humanity and the “Total annihilation” of our way of life.

    Pissing Myself Laughing at the experts prescription.

    Well all the proof is there, in the financial markets. Those fucking hucksters have ran out of selling fresh air, and now are trying to stop the fresh air from getting polluted.

  • glenn_uk

    Fedup: Argument by belligerent profanity is a new one on me, we’ll have to see if it’s possible to get that included right up there along with logic, reason and empirical evidence.


    It’s always astonishing to me that people are more than happy – demand, even – the products of science when it suits them for, say, keeping aeroplanes from unscheduled hard landings. Medical science from stopping many miserable deaths at an early age. Communication technology to allow TV, “Internets” etc., and producing just about everything that has taken us out of the jungle days.

    Yet when it comes to climate science, suddenly it’s all – in a quite unprecedented manner – become woolly, corrupt, subject to uninformed opinion and can be discounted.

    The main reason for this “skeptic” approach to the science of climate change, is because these skeptics are the paid shills of those with a vested interest in the status quo (albeit a temporary one), and useful idiots who find it much more agreeable to go along with the denial.

    What’s most alarming about the stupidity of climate change deniers, is that they really think a fossil-fuel based economy is going to last indefinitely! But then – thinking through a process is not much of a priority for these unscientific dupes who prefer mumbo-jumbo and wishful thinking to harsh reality.

  • fedup

    fossil-fuel based economy is going to last indefinitely!

    Stop your condescension and explain why fossil fuel will end?

    Is fossil fuel really from the fossils and residue of the dead organic matter?

    Which one of the moons of the Jupiter was inhabited by fucking dinosaurs, whose carcases have yielded the seas of methane?

    Stop your kind of “belief” and talk science, ie what about the Sun spots? What about the Sun storms? What about solar cycles? What about the spatial coordinate shifts of the solar system and the milky way galaxy? Is the Earth magnetic shield a constant? Does it change with the Earth’s fucking precession? a warm up for starters.

    On the other hand there is always Carbon trading that could help man made global warming to stop!!!!

    But Dr Pachauri warned that unless a price could be put on carbon emissions that was high enough to force power companies and manufacturers to reduce their fossil-fuel use, there seemed to be little chance of avoiding hugely damaging temperature increases.

    “An extremely effective instrument would be to put a price on carbon. It is only through the market that you can get a large enough and rapid enough response,” he said, calling on policymakers around the world “to see what’s required”.

    From the above link

  • technicolour

    No, I think I can see what Fedup’s saying: once the pressure on governments etc re AGM reaches the tipping point, they will start trying to appear to combat it by basically charging more for energy; whether in prices or ‘carbon trading’, which will directly affect the poorest and the richest not at all, and make not one jot of difference to the situation. In fact this has already happened; it’s just that the debate is occasionally being framed as though it hasn’t. I think.

    Possible solutions which aren’t being explored by governments – like geothermal and anaerobic digestion – are interesting.

  • glenn_uk

    Fedup: I get it at last! Fossil fuels (clue in the name there, btw) are infinite – going to last forever, and they cause no harm – because you don’t like the idea. Brilliant.

    Don’t wish to get all “sciency”, but all living things are carbon based. Some more complex than others. The presence of methane does not mean dinosaurs.

    What are Sun-spots? Jeez, we only know about them because of (gasp! Horror!) SCIENCE!! So clearly the very notion is suspect, and should be rightly ignored. “Spacial coordinate shifts”, magnetic fields, by gad – what the heck is that? These concepts would not arise from observation, data, hypotheses and …. well, the application of science would it? Because I know you’ve got no truck with such nonsense.

    Do you not see how silly it is to pick and choose where the scientific method should and should not apply, in the way you are doing?

    Spluttering away with profane indignation is hardly any real argument. But that seems to be what you’re all about.

  • fedup

    Spluttering away with profane indignation is hardly any real argument. But that seems to be what you’re all about.

    Give me fucking strength!

    If you want to debate clean then there is always the Sunday School, until Craig turns this blog into a Sunday School, you best get on with the argument at hand.

    You have evaded the questions put to you by brushing them aside and proclaiming the high ground of “science” and then have informed us of the “infinity” supply of the “fossil fuel”/”rock oil” (why is it not?). Without answering how oil/methane/hydrocarbons actually occur without fossils ever existing on various other space bodies?

    Are you intending to carry on the parroted lines of the memes so assiduously sewn in place by the plutocrats and their minions or are you going to explain your position, without the fucking usual condescension and evasion?

    I put the same questions;

    what about the Sun spots? What about the Sun storms? What about solar cycles? What about the spatial coordinate shifts of the solar system and the milky way galaxy? Is the Earth magnetic shield a constant? Does it change with the Earth’s fucking precession? a warm up for starters.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    I say, once the Human Race has departed this mortal coil, the resilient organism known as Earth will rebound with all due energy. Our remains will fuel the next wave of sentient life, or maybe the beneficial organisms who thrive in an unperturbed ecosystem will bypass our fossil remains.

  • glenn_uk

    What sort of argument would you like, Fedup? “Yoo cum ‘ere and fookin’ say that pal… I’ll noc yoo fookin’ teef out.”

    That sufficiently down-to-earth, and un-Sunday school like for you?

    It’s kind of hard to treat someone seriously, when their discourse is that of a half-witted delinquent teenager. No offence, of course.

  • fedup

    I say, once the Human Race has departed this mortal coil, the resilient organism known as Earth will rebound with all due energy. Our remains will fuel the next wave of sentient life, or maybe the beneficial organisms who thrive in an unperturbed ecosystem will bypass our fossil remains.

    Ben trouble is we are the aliens and have visited this planet and colonised it!

    The fact that all life was only created on Earth is just another one of those fucking stupid notions that keeps the morons happy! Why is there so much cover-up of the possibility that discounts any probability of other alien species?

    The vast universe, and the vast probabilities are mind boggling, at least for the limited wit of we the human beings. Despite the hatred on display towards our own species displayed by the other fellow human beings is telling of a species dysmorphic (this mental malady is so common place these days) ailment. Those who find the lack of other species from without our planet to be a crutch for their bigotry and prejudice.

    FFS we still don’t know about the life forms in our own oceans, and jungles, and deserts, but all too often know about the “man made disasters” because of a feeling in our water!

    Just read this thread, science is not about questioning and asking for proof, and testing and retesting. Science is what the Mr. scientists says!

    I am digressing, the global warming brouhaha is another scam hatched by the banksters for the banksters to control the rate of growth of the various competing economies. Evidently wars and mass murder are not cutting the mustard and we need the cooperation of the victim nations these days. Alas no longer few sputters of musketry are getting the natives to toe the line, and there is a need for a more sophisticated scam.

    PS. I am waiting to see who will be picking up the Voyager and the primitive phonograph disk and markings on the craft. They should be laughing their tits off at the effort, let us hop they are not the hostile kind of creatures, or we all have to assume the position; bend over kiss our ass goodbye!

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