Nobel Laureates Urge Putin to Free Greenpeace Activists

30 detainees face up to 15 years in prison if convicted


Eleven Nobel prize-winners have written to Vladimir Putin asking the Russian president to drop charges against 30 Greenpeace activists and journalists.

The 30, who come from 18 nations, were held last month during a protest against oil drilling in the Arctic.

The signatories – including Archbishop Desmond Tutu – described the charges of piracy as "excessive".

But Mr Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, responded that the president had no power to influence the courts.