Russia has failed to appear at an international court that is hearing a Dutch bid to force the release of the Greenpeace protest ship Arctic Sunrise and the activists who were on board her.

Moscow announced last month that it does not accept the arbitration procedure before the Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

A representative for the Netherlands, Liesbeth Lijnzaad, urged the court to proceed with the case despite Russia’s absence.

The 28 Greenpeace activists, a Russian photographer and a British videographer have been held since the Arctic Sunrise was seized by the Russian coastguard after a protest near a Gazprom-owned oil rig on September 18.

A total of six Britons are being held including videographer Kieron Bryan.

The tribunal handles disputes related to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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