What was I saying a couple of months back about the Greenpeace activists being held in Russia?
I doubt the Russians will inflict serious jail time on any of those being held. My prediction is they will be subject to enough of the Russian penal system, including a few days or weeks inside a Russian prison, to deter any further such protests before being released. Putin has already put himself in the role of benign arbiter, ready to step in if necessary to ensure no unnecessarily harsh treatment is dealt out (and making everybody aware – in case there still exist people who don’t already know – that he personally can decide your fate should you be foolish enough to try a similar stunt in future).
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has submitted proposals to the country’s parliament for a special amnesty that reports have said would include a pardon for the so-called ‘Arctic 30’ protesters.
The Kremlin announced the draft regulations on its website, specifying categories of crime and offender that would fall under the proposed amnesty.
The bill has been submitted to mark Thursday’s 20th anniversary of the Russian constitution.
Things certainly seem to be heading in that direction. Although:
Greenpeace spokesman Ben Ayliffe said its members “are not getting their hopes up yet”, commenting in a statement: “Until the Duma adopts an amnesty that includes the Greenpeace activists and freelance journalists, everything is speculation.”
Indeed. Only once you’ve had the quiet word in your ear that this amnesty is a one-off and should any Greenpeace activists try a similar stunt in future the outcome will be quite different, and you have nodded your head vigorously to show you have understood this point, should you get your hopes up. But that word will come, I am sure of it. Let’s see what effect it has on recruitment for volunteers for future missions. I’m sure those who will soon be released won’t have much appetite for another, much longer, stint in a Russian prison.