Russia 'moving Greenpeace detainees to St Petersburg'

One of the cells in Murmansk jail where Greenpeace group are held A visitor sent the BBC this photo of a cell in the Murmansk jail

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The environmental group Greenpeace says its 30 activists held in a Russian jail in the Arctic port of Murmansk are being moved to a jail in St Petersburg.

The activists - six of them British - will travel by train, lawyers say.

Greenpeace said it learnt of the move from diplomatic sources, but the reason was not clear.

The 28 protesters and two journalists were detained after a protest at an Arctic offshore oil rig in September, and have been charged with hooliganism.

The BBC's Daniel Sandford in Moscow says some activists had complained of being cold and of poor conditions.

The legal system in Murmansk is also reportedly struggling to cope with the sheer number of interpreters involved.

Lawyers for Greenpeace said they understood the detainees could be in St Petersburg by Saturday night.

The group of 30 were originally charged with piracy, but Russian authorities dropped the charges last week, replacing them with hooliganism charges.

Greenpeace denies any wrongdoing and is calling for the release of the detainees - who come from 18 countries - and their ship, Arctic Sunrise.

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