28 activists, a freelance photographer and a freelance videographer were involved in a protest against the Gazprom Arctic drilling platform Prirazlomnaya in international waters north of Russia on September 18th.
Canadians Paul Ruzycki and Alexandre Paul were a part of the Arctic 30 who were arrested and are now being held in St-Petersburg, Russia where they have been charged with hooliganism. Some, but not all, have been granted bail. Alexandre and Paul still face serious charges, and their bail conditions are unknown as yet.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird can play a crucial role in bringing Paul and Alexandre back to Canada. The Canadian government needs to know that we will not stand for the illegal imprisonment of a fellow citizen.
Sign the petition asking John Baird to bring home Paul Ruzycki and Alexandre Paul.
Dear Minister Baird,
I am writing to urge you to do everything within your power to help ensure the swift release of Paul Ruzycki and Alexandre Paul, two Canadians illegally detained in Russia following a peaceful protest in international waters north of Russia.
The ongoing presence of Canadian diplomats in Murmansk has been invaluable to Paul, Alexandre, and their families and I want to thank the Canadian government for acting so well and so swiftly in this regard. I’m writing to you now to ensure that your efforts on a political level are just as strong and that you are doing everything within your power to ensure the safe return home of these two Canadian citizens.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs your actions were instrumental in securing the safe return home of John Greyson and Tarek Loubani. On October 1st you told media “The government, at the Prime Minister’s direction, has been engaged in a big way to secure the release of these two Canadians…Canadians have got to know that their government at the highest levels is doing absolutely all it can.” We hope that the government is prepared to speak out and act on behalf of Paul Ruzycki and Alexandre Paul as well.
This is an urgent, time sensitive situation that requires all governments involved to do everything within their power to find a solution. Other governments are speaking out: The Netherlands is taking action at International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS); German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, as have the European commission and 11 Nobel laureates.
Minister Baird, I urge you to:
• Call publicly for the immediate and safe release of Paul Ruzycki and Alexandre Paul
• Raise this issue at the highest possible level with your contacts in the Russian Federation
• Support the Dutch government's initiative at the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea
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