Russian authorities on Sept. 24 released a statement saying that Greenpeace International activists on board a ship detained at Murmansk would be investigated for possible criminal acts of piracy.
The authorities have not said the activsits would be charged or prosecuted for piracy, but reather that Russia's Northwestern Federal District Investigations Directorate has "opened a criminal case" into possible offenses.
Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo, in a statement released earlier on Sept. 24, said, "Peaceful activism is crucial when governments around the world have failed to respond to dire scientific warnings about the consequences of climate change in the Arctic and elsewhere.
"Any charge of piracy against peaceful activists has no merit in international law. We will not be intimidated or silenced by these absurd accusations and demand the immediate release of our activists."
The Russian Coast Guard seized the Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, last week, after activists on board tried to to climb onto a state-owned oil-drilling platform in the Arctic.
About 30 activists from 18 countries – including the United States – are involved in the Greenpeace demonstration against drilling in the Arctic waters, according to The AP.
A Russian spokesman, in a statement, said the Greenpeace "activities not only infringe on the sovereignty of a state, but might pose a threat to the environmental security of the whole region."