In this photo provided by Greenpeace and taken Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, members of the Russian Investigative Committee accompanied by Peter Willcox, the U.S. captain of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise inspect the vessel, in back, near Murmansk, Russia. Russian investigators have charged the entire 30-member crew of a Greenpeace ship with piracy for a protest at a Russian oil platform in the Arctic. (AP Photo/Greenpeace, Dmitri Sharomov)The Associated Press
AMSTERDAM – Greenpeace International's director says Russia's seizure of its ship "Arctic Sunrise" and the arrest of its crew is the worst "assault" on the group's environmental activism since its flagship "Rainbow Warrior" was bombed in 1985.
Russia seized "Arctic Sunrise" after a Sept. 18 protest at a Gazprom oil drilling platform located in the Arctic circle, and last week charged all 30 people on board with piracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.
Kicking off global Greenpeace protests Saturday, international director Kumi Naidoo said "we will not be bullied and intimidated into silence." He demanded the release of the activists, who come from 18 countries.
French secret operatives blew up the "Rainbow Warrior" in New Zealand because it was going to protest against French nuclear tests. One person died.