Prievidza, Slovakia – The decision by a Slovakian court today to keep Greenpeace activists in detention until a trial takes place is unacceptable, Greenpeace said. The 12 activists from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and Belgium protested peacefully against dirty coal by displaying banners on the mining tower of a Slovak lignite mining company, calling for an end to the era of coal. The activists are now facing unfounded criminal charges and are at risk of being imprisoned for up to 5 years.
Their lawyers will appeal against the decision. Greenpeace is calling for international solidarity for the detained activists.
Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International said:
“We are facing the greatest challenge to humanity and people are demanding and taking action. Governments at COP24 must now once and for all stand with the people and take action with them. These 12 activists took peaceful action to protest against the dirtiest fossil fuel and their continued detention is a disgrace. We call on Slovakia for their immediate release.”
Julia Sokolovicova, political advisor for Greenpeace in Central and Eastern Europe said:
“These activists pose no conceivable threat. It’s coal that is the real threat to current and future generations. Slovakia has a chance to be a climate leader in Central Europe – coal delivers only 12% of the country’s energy mix. This chance is now being squandered. Slovakia needs to look to the future, ditch coal and stand with these young protesters. They should be applauded not jailed, and released immediately.”
Photos and video from the peaceful protest can be accessed here
 The Slovak “lignite phaseout” plan, or government proposal LP/2018/872, developed between the Slovak government and the lignite mining company HBP can be read here in full (Slovak language only)
Julia Sokolovicova, Political Advisor, Greenpeace in Central and Eastern Europe: +420 608 071 134, firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenpeace International Press Desk: email@example.com, +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)
Update: edited at 12:45 CET on 2 December to include all nationalities of the detained activists. The activists are from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and Belgium.