In July of 2012, Sven and Natasha were arrested for “conspiracy to blackmail,” a charge stemming from their efforts to shut down Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), Europe’s largest animal testing laboratory and the target of the worldwide campaign known as Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC). Since the police raid in Amersterdam that lead to their arrest, they have been awaiting extradition to the United Kingdom, where they face up to 14 years in prison.
Yesterday British Police came to extradite them from the Netherlands. After a night in the police station, they were released from court this morning. They now await their first court hearing in late March.
This is a huge step after nearly five years waiting on bail. They are in good spirits and looking forward to spending time in England before their legal proceedings.
Right now support is needed more than ever!
Check out this support page for more info on solidarity actions you can take and further developments on the case!
After they were arrested, Sven and Natasha became known as two-thirds of the Blackmail 3, a name given to the three SHAC organizers charged with conspiracy to blackmail. The third was Debbie Vincent, a UK resident who in 2014 was sentenced to six years in prison for campaigning against HLS. The timing of this extradition raises some eyebrows, as it comes just weeks before Debbie’s April 13th “release” date, after which she’ll spend one to six months in a halfway hostel. (We recently posted a letter that Debbie wrote to the Hambach forest defenders—read it here.) One might conclude that the UK legal system is trying to draw out state repression of SHAC activists for as long as possible in an effort to stifle and intimidate the animal liberation movement. Fuck them! Support Sven, Natasha, and Debbie!