Spanish Greenpeace activist held in Denmark released

The Director of Greenpeace in Spain, Juan López de Uralde, was finally freed yesterday from the Copenhague prison where he and three other members of the organization were being held after they were arrested when they managed to enter the banquet hall and brandish protest banners during a dinner hosted by the Queen of Denmark during the celebration of the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December. The activists had been refused bail by the Danish authorities and have spent Christmas and New Years behind bars with no access to media or lawyers, in “preventive custody”. According to Danish law, charges would have had to been made today in order to extend their imprisonment as 21 days is the limit of preventive custody.

During their 20 days of confinement the prisoners were not allowed to receive visitors. Several demostrations have been held both in Spain and in Copenhagen over the past three weeks in protest to the decision made by the Danish authorities to refuse to release them on bail.

On his release yesterder, Lopez de Uralde said that their protest had been peaceful, and put what he called the “excessive” response of the Danish authorities down to the fact that Danish security forces had been shamed since the Greenpeace activisits had found it so easy to get past security and enter what was the Summit’s most high-profile social event, hosted by Denmark’s Head of State and attended by many world leaders.

Lopez thanked supporters for the protests and said that if it hadn’t been for the constant pressure put on the Danish authorities, he and his colleagues would have been “left to rot inside”. A small group of thirty Greenpeace members and relatives greeted the four activists with applause at the gates of the prison yesterday.