ARKTIKA 2.0 - Black November
October was not a good month for our Gilles, as you have learned from the chronicle which we reported. Could things have gone worse? Yes, absolutely. As a ‘black November’ had not yet arrived.
The police handed over to Gilles the Svalbard administration's the verdict: a large fine or 25 days in prison, and a deadline of 5 days to make a decision.
Gilles’ immediate first thoughts go to his dogs: 5 days are (not coincidentally) the same amount of days permitted for the dogs to go ashore. This unleashes terrible thoughts and scenarios. The dogs will be the first to lose in this scenario, despite their permits being totally in order. After discussing the situation with the police, Gilles fears abuse and even euthanasia for his dogs.
The blackmail seems go like this: pay or put into play the dogs.
Gilles has contacted his lawyer to protect the dogs and react to the situation he is embroiled in. In the report there is no mitigating circumstances in relation to, or so-called acts of God that forced the Arktika to go into a nature reserve. There is no mention of the fact that Gilles and Alexia have engaged in cleaning up the coast of garbage.
Gilles thinks of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and in particular to the “Right of innocent Passage.” The fate of his adventure, however, seems in the hands of his lawyer.
The authorization allowing the dogs to stay on land until July has arrived. Good news, however, that does not free them of all ill thoughts: the documentation is not in fact different from that presented in July.
Norwegian newspapers and local radio are talking about Gilles and what happening. The media seem to be on his side, but the administration of Svalbard claims to have replied to all his messages... the evidence to the contrary are once again in the hands of Gilles lawyer.
Guilty or not guilty?
Gilles vents on his social media channels.
The administration of Svalbard has never answered his satellite messages, no less than eight between the 8th and 15th of October. What would have happened if the messages had related to an emergency request or assistance?
According to which legislation can Gilles’ passport be confiscated for all these weeks?
What are the laws of Svalbard? The Norwegian ones? The Svalbard Treaty of 1920, of which France is the depositary, recognizes Norway's sovereignty over the islands, but extends to all signatories of resource exploitation rights in this Arctic archipelago.
The Svalbard administration has rejected the request made by the lawyer for the extension of the acceptance period of the report's verdict. No time to think, there is no opening for dialogue, will there still be time for adventure?
Gilles signed his non-acceptance of the minutes of the administration of Svalbard “For truth and justice.” Gilles and Alexia the principles of their adventure, find themselves in this difficult and bureaucratic affair: a challenge for healthy and fair ideals, a stage in the struggle for their principles, the recognition of their rights, the honor, the law of the sea and the protection of the Arctic. Arktika also will plow through laws and loopholes to reach its destination. But this time it is not a bear to hinder it, but a process that awaits February 23rd in Longyearbyen.