Montreal activist Alexandre Paul detained by Russians

Greenpeace activist Alexandre Paul, 35, was arrested and held at gunpoint Sept. 19 along with nearly 30 others when Russian coast guard officials boarded their ship by rappelling down from helicopters.

Greenpeace activist in jail awaiting possible piracy charges

Alexandre Paul of Montreal, was a deckhand aboard the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise. (Jiri Rezac/Greenpeace)

Nicole Paul is waiting and worrying as her son sits in a Russian jail.

Greenpeace activist Alexandre Paul, 35, was arrested and held at gunpoint Sept. 19 along with nearly 30 others when Russian coast guard officials boarded their ship by rappelling down from helicopters.

The arrests came the day after two members of the crew tried to scale the Arctic’s first offshore oil platform, in the Prirazlomnoye oil field in the Pechora Sea. The group of Greenpeace activists were aboard the Arctic Sunrise ship protesting offshore drilling in the Arctic.

The rig had not yet started pumping oil due to technological challenges, said oil company Gazprom.

Russian coast guard officers boarded Arctic Sunrise on Sept. 19, arresting 30 Greenpeace activists from 18 different countries. (Denis Sinyakov/Greenpeace)

Paul, a petty officer on the ship, along with Paul Douglas Ruzycki of Port Colborne, Ont. were remanded into custody for two months while Russian officials determine if they will be charged with piracy.

“In two months, it won’t be finished either,” says Nicole Paul.

If Russian authorities decide to charge the group with piracy, they could be facing 10 to 15 years in prison.

Until then, Paul’s mother surfs the Web in Montreal, looking for any and all updates on her son’s status.

With files from The Canadian Press

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