I must admit that I rather like Russia's approach to dealing with the Greenpeace "activists" that they arrested following an attempt to protest about Arcric oil drilling.
They have decided to release some of the activists on the equivalent of £38,000 bail each and have indicated that they are now free to leave the country pending their court hearing.
As far as the Russians are concerned, this kills two (or more) birds with one stone. If as seems likely, they skip bail, it will cost Greenpeace something over a million pounds for the lot, and at the same time, it will effectively prevent them from returning to Russia without being arrested both for the original offence and bail jumping. Russia will also avoid the problem of trials and any adverse publicity that such trials might bring. Russia now regains the high ground by following reasonably acceptable legal procedures, albeit that they are somewhat slower than they would perhaps be in this country.
I think that Russia is right in their actions; Greenpeace needs to learn that they can't go around physically protesting at what are perfectly legal activities, and forcing other people to incur the costs of defending these activities against Greenpeace violence. Why should the general public have to pay, through taxation, for, say, the policing of anti-fracking protesters? I'm all for the right of peaceful protest, but neither trespassing or violence are peaceful protests. It's time that our authorities took a leaf out of the Russian book and at least recovered some of their costs from Greenpeace.
The Daily Telegraph report is here
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