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Russia bails more Greenpeace activists

Nine activists told they would be bailed after St Petersburg court hearings

More of the Greenpeace activists arrested during a protest against drilling in the Arctic have been granted bail by a court in Russia.

Nine activists were told they would be bailed after court hearings in St Petersburg, following a similar ruling yesterday for three members of the group.

The 12 are from Russia, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand, Finland, Canada, Poland, France and Italy. They were among a group of 28 activists and two freelance journalists arrested two months ago after their ship was seized by Russian security authorities.

Australian Colin Russell has been told he will remain in jail until at least February while investigations continue. Court hearings of six Britons being detained are expected in the coming days.

Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace said: “In the space of two mornings we have had good news and bad, and the good news comes with a warning. We still have no idea what conditions our friends will endure when they are released from jail, whether they will be held under house arrest or even allowed outside.

”What we do know for certain is that they are still charged and could spend years behind bars if they are convicted for a crime they did not commit, and we remain baffled and heartbroken that our colleague Colin was refused bail and sent back to prison for three months. The Arctic 30 will not be free until every last one of them is back home with their families.“

Rosangela Maciels, the mother of Ana Paula Maciels, from Brazil, said: ”This is the most lovely news I've got in the last two months, but justice will only be done when all the absurd charges are dropped. A person who only does good for the planet, like my daughter must be recognised by their actions, not unjustly accused. This is the only way we can keep the faith in the future.“

Additional reporting PA