Greenpeace protests against pre-trial detention for its activists

Greenpeace International has protested against a decision by a Slovak court to hold a group of 12 Greenpeace activists, including two Czech nationals, in pre-trial detention, as they await criminal charges for scaling a coal mine tower to protest the use of "dirty coal".

The 12 protesters – from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Finland – were taken into custody in Slovakia on Wednesday, after climbing a tower of the brown coal mining company Horna Nitra Mines in the Slovak city of Nováky to fly a banner demanding an "end to the era of coal".

Greenpeace Slovakia says the activists are suspected of "threatening the operations of a public interest facility", a charge that could lead to a maximum jail sentence of five years.