A Greenpeace activist suspended himself from Paris' Eiffel Tower on Saturday to demand the release of 30 people, including two Canadians, who are being held in Russia.

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Firefighters brought the activist down from the tower after a two-hour protest. (Christophe Ena/Associated Press)

The 28 detained activists and two freelance journalists who were on board the Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise boat tried to scale Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya drilling platform on Sept. 18, to protest against Arctic oil drilling.

Greenpeace activist Cyril Cormier, responsible for the energy campaigns, said the environmental group wants the French government to ask Russia to release the prisoners.

"We are here to ask for the French government to do everything in their power to get the release of the 30 — 28 activists and two journalists — that have been in jail in northwestern Russia for 38 days now.

Canadians Alexandre Paul of Montreal and Paul Ruzycki, of Port Colborne, Ont., were also swept up by the Russian coast guard and imprisoned in Murmansk.

The French government and prime minister will meet President Vladimir Putin in a couple of days in Russia and a case should be made for the release of the activists, Cormier said.

Cormier was brought down about two hours later by firefighters.

On Wednesday, Russia dropped piracy charges against the activists and journalists, replacing them with lesser offences and cutting the maximum jail sentence they face from 15 to seven years.

French Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, is expected to be on official visit to Russia on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

The Dutch government said on Monday it had asked the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to order Russia to release the 30 people of the Dutch-registered Arctic Sunrise boat. The Netherlands said it expected a hearing in Hamburg in Germany, where the tribunal is based, within three weeks.