MONTREAL – A Canadian Greenpeace activist who was detained in Russia this fall says he’s glad to be back home.
Alexandre Paul arrived in Montreal today after three months of uncertainty — two of which were spent in jail.
Paul told a news conference at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport that his spell in prison wasn’t the most joyous experience in his life but that he has no regrets.
Fellow Canadian activist Paul Ruzycki, of Port Colborne, Ont., is facing a slight delay in his own departure from Russia because his exit visa hasn’t been processed.
A spokesman for Greenpeace says Ruzycki is expected to arrive home soon.
The two Canadians were among 30 members of Greenpeace arrested at a September protest outside a Russian oil rig in the Arctic.
The activists had their cases closed this week under a recent amnesty passed by the Russian parliament.
They were originally charged with piracy when some of them attempted to scale an offshore drilling platform in the Arctic belonging to Russian state-owned natural gas giant Gazprom.
The decision to grant amnesty has been seen by many as part of an attempt by the Kremlin to dampen criticism of Russia’s human rights record ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.