Netherlands asks sea law tribunal to order Russia to release Greenpeace ship and activists

The Netherlands is asking an international tribunal to order Russia to release a Greenpeace protest ship and the activists who were on board.

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans says the government made the request Monday to the Hamburg, Germany-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

A group of 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists have been held since their ship, the "Arctic Sunrise" was seized by the Russian coast guard after a protest outside a Gazprom-owned oil rig Sept. 18.

They have been charged with piracy, an offense that carries a 15-year sentence in Russia.

The Netherlands is taking action because the Arctic Sunrise sails under a Dutch flag.