The protest of Greenpeace activists in Slovakia classified as misdemeanor21.May 2019.
Activists welcome the decision, but the mining company insists that its employees were endangered by the protest.
Greenpeace activists, whom the police detained in November 2017 for scaling the mining tower in Nováky (Trenčín Region), will only be charged with a misdemeanour after administrative proceedings.
“The criminal police department of the regional police corps headquarters in Trenčín decided that 12 activists, who non-violently protected the Upper Nitra region against coal mining, did not commit any crime,” Greenpeace informed on its website.
The activists from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, and Belgium posted a banner on November 22, 2018 on the mining tower of the coal mining company Hornonitrianske Bane Prievidza, reading “End the coal era”.
Since it is only a misdemeanour, police transferred the case to the district mining authority in Prievidza (Trenčín Region).
Mines insist on risks towards their employees
Ivana Kohútková, head of Greenpeace Slovensko, welcomed the decision.
“The decision of the investigator has confirmed what we’ve been explaining from the very beginning,” she said. “Greenpeace activists committed no crime, and thus didn’t harm anybody’s health, life and property.”
As she stressed, we are currently witnessing a critical change in climate, and this act of the activists was a sign of bravery, not a crime.
“Activism mustn’t be punished,” Kohútková added.
However, the Hornonitrianske Bane Prievidza mining company, which operates the mine in Nováky, insists that the activists who climbed the tower endangered the safety of their employees.
“The investigation was transferred to the state mining authority, which will decide on the responsibility and fault rate of the activists’ actions,” said Adriana Siváková, spokesperson of Hornonitrianske Bane Prievidza, as quoted by the TASR newswire.