Greenpeace Climate Heroes imprisoned over Christmas and New Year

For Immediate Release

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Greenpeace International Press Desk: +31 20 7182470

Greenpeace Climate Heroes imprisoned over Christmas and New Year

AMSTERDAM - Four Greenpeace climate activists will spend Christmas and New Year in
Copenhagen prison after the High Court there this afternoon rejected
appeals to release them from Danish police custody. The four Climate
Heroes from the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Switzerland were
arrested following a protest staged during last Thursday's State
Banquet hosted by Queen Margrethe II for world leaders attending the
Copenhagen climate summit.

Greenpeace condemned the High Court's decision as a further 'climate
injustice' on top of world leaders' failure to agree a legally binding
treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The organisation is calling on
the public to help step up pressure to secure the release of its four
activists, as well as other peaceful climate protesters still being
held in custody. Despite today's Court ruling, the release of
Greenpeace's Climate Heroes remains at the discretion of Denmark's
Chief of Police.

"Greenpeace's Climate Heroes were willing to risk their freedom for a
cause," said Mads Christensen, Executive Director, Greenpeace Nordic.
"We have continually assured the Danish authorities that, like any
Greenpeace activist, the four are willing to return to Denmark for
their day in court, but the police intend to hold them in custody until
7 January 2010. Preventing them from spending the festive season with
their families and loved ones is effectively a punishment without trial
and has the appearance of a vindictive act. It is unnecessary and
totally out of proportion to what they did. We hope people everywhere
will join the call for their release and also make their own, smaller,
efforts to act against climate change."

Posing as a 'Head of State', his 'wife' and a security detail, three of
the activists were waved through the security cordon around last
Thursday's dinner for Heads of State, immediately prior to the crucial
final day of the Copenhagen climate summit. They delivered a message to
leaders about the urgent need to act to protect the world's climate.
The 'Head of State' and his 'wife' unfurled banners reading,
"Politicians Talk, Leaders Act". A fourth activist was later arrested.

Leaders failed to heed Greenpeace's call. The summit ended in failure
by agreeing only to note the 'Copenhagen Accord', an empty document
containing no legally binding commitments for cutting greenhouse gas
emissions.

In order to close the police investigation into its four activists,
Greenpeace has been co-operating with Danish police and has provided
police with full details of the activity. For security reasons, the
full details will not be made public.

Even so, Greenpeace outlined that the protest was not a sophisticated
operation. It relied entirely on simple, readily-available materials
and had elements of farce. For instance, Greenpeace logos displayed on
the windscreens of limousines hired by Greenpeace to arrive at the
banquet were in one case wedged in place by a pair of socks. One of the
car number plates included '007' - a reference to James Bond. Blue
'police' lights on top of another vehicle were purchased for DKK 50
(Euro 6.70) via the internet.

Reflecting on the failed summit, Mads Christensen said, "Over the past
20 years, our leaders have done virtually nothing to combat climate
change. The Copenhagen climate summit was the moment for decisive
action. But our leaders failed us. They failed to agree a legally
binding treaty to prevent the Earth from warming beyond the crucial
threshold of 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. Beyond this, we
can expect impacts to severely affect the survival and well-being of
millions of people and countless species. Failure to take action to
protect the climate is not an option. The four Climate Heroes provide
an inspiration to everyone."

Contacts:
Mads Christensen, Executive Director, Greenpeace Nordic. Tel: +45 28 10 90 22
Sune Scheller, Press Officer, Greenpeace Nordic. Tel: +45 27 14 42 57
Greenpeace International Press Desk: +31 20 7182470

Notes to Editors:

The four activists are:
Juan A Lopez de Uralde, (Spanish), Executive Director, Greenpeace Spain
Nora Christiansen, (Norwegian), resident in Denmark
Christian Schmutz, (Swiss), Greenpeace Switzerland
Joris Thijssen, (Dutch), Climate Campaigner, Greenpeace International

 

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Independent campaigning organization that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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