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Posted by on Dec 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

VOW signs letter to Minister Baird – Bring home Canadian activists

16 December 2013


The Honourable John Baird

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0G2


Hon. Minister Baird,


Over 4 million people globally have joined together to protect the Arctic.


On September 19th, thirty of those people were illegally imprisoned by Russian authorities following a peaceful protest in international waters to highlight the potentially devastating impacts of Arctic drilling. Despite never voluntarily entering Russian territory, these brave women and men – the Arctic 30 – were held in Russia for over two months without trial before being released on bail.


Two Canadians, Paul Ruzycki and Alexandre Paul, are among those still trapped in Russia facing trumped up charges and the possibility of seven years in prison. The Dutch, German, British, Finnish, American, Brazilian, Ontario and Quebec governments have all spoken out about the Arctic 30.


Yet, despite pleas from Paul and Alexandre’s families and letters from civil society groups, political parties, and tens of thousands of Canadians urging action, the Canadian government remains silent. The ongoing presence of Canadian diplomats in Russia has been invaluable to Paul, Alexandre, and their families. The government of Canada also has a responsibility to work on a political level to ensure their safe return home.


We urge you, in your capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs to:

  • Call publicly for Paul and Alexandre to be allowed to return home to Canada, and for the charges against them to be dropped.
  • Raise this issue at the highest possible levels with his contacts in the Russian Federation
  • Urge the Russian Federation to adhere to the ruling from the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, which orders the Russian Federation to release the Arctic 30 and the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise




Amnesty International Canada

Amnistie internationale Canada francophone

Maude Barlow

BC Government and Service Employee’s Union

Tzeporah Berman

Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Canadian Environmental Law Association

Canadian Environmental Network

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

Canadian Union of Public Employees, Toronto Council

Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

Canadian Youth Climate Coalition

Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ)

Climate Action Network Canada

Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN)

Council of Canadians

Paul Dewar, MP

David Suzuki Foundation


Ecology Action Centre

Environmental Defence


ForestEthics Advocacy

ForestEthics Solutions

Green 13



Georgia Strait Alliance

John Greyson

Steven Guilbeault

Just Earth

Labour Education Centre

Stephen Lewis

Ligue des droits et libertés

Dr. Tarek Loubani

Wayne Martson, MP

Elizabeth May, MP

National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)

Nobel Women’s Initiative

Our Horizon

Physicians for Global Survival

Pulp, Paper and Woodworkers of Canada

Sierra Club BC

Dr. David Suzuki

Toronto Climate Campaign

Toronto First Chapter, CUSJ (Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice)

Toronto and York Region Labour Council


United Steelworkers, Toronto Area Council


Windfall Ecology Centre

Zero Carbon Ontario