Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise released by Russia

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

MOSCOW (AP) — Greenpeace International says a ship held by Russian authorities for nearly a year has been released and is on its way back to the Netherlands.

The Amsterdam-based environmental group said Friday the Arctic Sunrise departed the northern Russian port city of Murmansk and was headed to Amsterdam.

The ship had been held since September 2013 after Russian authorities seized it during a protest against an offshore oil platform and arrested the 30 people on board. Greenpeace opposes the location of the platform, within the Arctic Circle.

The crew and journalists were initially charged with piracy and were held in Russian prisons for months after their arrest near the Prirazlomnaya platform. The charges were later downgraded to hooliganism and they were eventually released shortly before the Sochi Olympics.