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Police halt blockade of Russian coal, detain five activists

The protestors aimed to prevent deliveries of Russian coal passing through Finnish territory on their way to central Europe.

The protest began on 12 April. Image: Ville Vuorinen / Lehtikuva
Yle News

Police have broken up a blockade of Russian coal cargo trains by Extinction Rebellion activists at Koverhar Harbour's gate in Hanko, southwest Finland.

The coal was being transported through Finnish territory for delivery to central Europe.

In a statement, police said they ordered about 20 people to leave the site on Thursday morning at about 8am, adding that some of the protesters obeyed the order and left the scene in their own vehicles or by bus.

However, Western Uusimaa Police Inspector Antti Mäki told Yle that five protestors were detained and taken to Raseborg Police Station on suspicion of disobedience.

According to police, the protesters taken into custody had tried to get back onto the track after being ordered to leave.

The police statement added that the situation at the scene in Lappohja was now calm, and there are currently no more protesters.

Protest opposed transit of Russian coal

The blockade by Greenpeace and Elokapina — the Finnish branch of the Extinction Rebellion climate action movement — began on 12 April, when activists successfully prevented a train delivering Russian coal from accessing the port of Koverhar.

Some protestors had chained themselves to the rails, and a criminal report related to the incident was filed with police.

The protesters had demanded that Finland immediately stop the transit of Russian coal through Finnish territory and make a move away from using Russian fossil fuels faster than currently planned.

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