Friday, 18 March 2011

Greenpeace activists sentenced in Belgium - other trials to come

A Belgian court has handed down a one-month suspended jail sentence + fines of €1,100 to ten Greepeace activists who staged a protest during an EU summit in 2009. Eleven activists were charged with using fake IDs, but one of them was cleared, as he held a valid press card. The sentenced activists were able to join an official motorcade and use the VIP entrance before they were seized by security forces.

Another trial is according to EU-Observer soon to begin in Denmark:

Another eleven Greenpeace activists are also facing a similar trial in Denmark for a protest they staged at a banquet hosted by the Danish queen during the Copenhagen climate summit. After dressing up as gala guests and suddenly displaying banners with "Politicians talk. Leaders act", four of them were arrested and held for 20 days.

Earlier this month, the Danish public prosecutor charged them with trespassing, falsification of documents, impersonating a public official and offences committed against the Danish queen.

In another precedent in Belgium, the green NGO faced organised crime charges after a series of protests against the local power giant Electrabel. Of the seven pending criminal investigations, six were dismissed.
Japanese and US courts have also given Greenpeace activists suspended jail sentences on similar grounds.

It is about time that courts start getting tougher on Greenpeace activists. In many countries they have been allowed to break laws without having to face the consequences like other people.  

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