Greenpeace photographer Dmitry Sharomov pictured in Dunedin
in 2007. Photo by Bruce Munro.
New Zealand environment activist Jonathan Beauchamp is in
good spirits despite being denied bail by a Russian court.
A handcuffed Mr Beauchamp managed a smile while in court in
Murmansk on Wednesday, Russian photographer and former
Dunedin resident Dmitry Sharomov said.
Mr Beauchamp is among 30 people facing piracy charges over a
Greenpeace protest against oil drilling in the Arctic.
The other New Zealander arrested, David Haussmann, was
refused bail on Monday. Mr Sharomov is in the northwest
Russian port city of Murmansk photographing the pre-trial
hearings for Greenpeace.
''I saw David on Monday and Jonathan on Wednesday ... They
looked OK; they were even smiling. But I can say they looked
tired as well,'' Mr Sharomov said.
The BBC reported Mr Beauchamp's lawyer argued his client
should be bailed because he had a heart condition but the
judge was not swayed.
Most of the activists who were aboard Greenpeace vessel
Arctic Sunrise were being kept in separate cells in a
Murmansk detention centre awaiting a trial in late November,
Mr Sharomov said.
The guards, who are polite but do not speak English, let them
out of their cells for one hour each day.
The detainees have three meals a day. Drinking water has to
be boiled. They are able to wash their clothes by hand.
''In general, the people stay strong,'' Mr Sharomov said.
''I feel very sad and sorry for all of them. For some people
it is more difficult than for others to remain under custody.
''It is hard to believe what is happening with them. The
charges are absurd. We want them out as soon as possible.''
Auckland-born Mr Beauchamp, who has been based in South
Australia since 2007, has crewed Greenpeace vessels several
times. On this trip he was looking after small boats on
David Haussmann, of Reefton, has been involved in many
Greenpeace campaigns during the past 13 years. This was his
fourth trip to the Arctic.
Mr Sharomov has sailed on Greenpeace campaigns for the past
nine years. Most of his expeditions were aboard Rainbow
He lived in Dunedin with his family six years ago while
studying photography in the city.
The 28 crew of Arctic Sunrise, plus two freelance
journalists, were arrested by Russian security forces on
September 18 in international waters.
The piracy charges, punishable by up to 15 years' jail,
appear aimed at sending a message that Moscow will not
tolerate attempts to disrupt its development of the
resource-rich Arctic, which Greenpeace says could destroy a
Russian authorities said they might lay further charges
against the crew after reportedly finding morphine and poppy
straw, an opiate, aboard Arctic Sunrise.
Greenpeace said the accusation was a smear.