Kiwi activists were sentenced to two years in jail by a Russian court after the Russian Coast Guard took them in custody along with over 20 protesters against oiling.
New Zealanders David John Haussmann and Jonathon Beauchamp were part of the crew of the Arctic Sunrise, a ship owned by Greenpeace.
Mr Beauchamp is a boat mechanic on the ship while Mr Haussmann works as an electrician. They were among the 22 Greenpeace anti-oiling campaigners who were caught by Russian authorities. The release of the prisoners will be subject to a pending investigation, following offshore protests against oil drilling in the Arctic.
Greenpeace said eight other people were also on the ship, but they have been detailed by authorities for three days as they await their first hearing. Greenpeace crticised the Russian court ruling and tagged it as illegal. The organisation said Russia had no formal charges filed against the anti-oil campaigners.
Greenpeace vowed that it will not be intimidated by Russia and would seek an appeal to release the prisoners, said Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo. Greenpeace International also said that Russian authorities were planning to file piracy charges against the crew of the ship. The organisation said the Russians have no legal basis.
In a statement, Greenpeace said that the Russian Coast Guard boarded the Greenpeace ship in an illegal manner.
New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said they had been extending consular assistance to the jailed Kiwi activitists.
Among those arrested by Russian authorities were Colin Keith Russell from Australia, three British crew members and the American captain of the vessel, Peter Willcox. Captain Willcox is a Greenpeace veteran who also served as captain of the bombed Rainbow Warrior in 1985 in Auckland.
Meanwhile, Netherlands has demanded the release of the Greenpeace activities and threatened to pursue legal action if Russia will decline.
Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin has promised to bring all the individuals responsible for attacking a Gazprom-owned oil rig, regardless of their nationalities.
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