British journalist covering Greenpeace Arctic oil rig protest is held by Russian authorities

A British video journalist has been arrested by Russian authorities for piracy after covering a Greenpeace protest against an Arctic oil rig.

Kieron Bryan was part of a group of 30 activists arrested after armed Russian security forces boarded the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise.

The vessel was escorted from the scene in the Pechora sea to the port of Murmansk.

Greenpeace was protesting against attempts by the Russian energy firm Gazprom to drill for oil in the Arctic.

Greenpeace claims that Russian officials illegally boarded their vessel in international waters.

Speaking to the Western Morning News from their home near Exeter in Devon, Bryan’s parents Andy and Ann condemned their son’s arrest.

“Our son is a very kind, caring individual and environmental issues have always been very close to his heart. He would sympathise with the cause but he was simply there doing his job as a freelance videographer.

“None of those on board should be subjected to this prolonged period of detention. They are extremely brave, caring individuals who were peacefully protesting to bring the world’s attention to the dangers of drilling in that particular area and of the serious consequences it could have on that already fragile environment.”

Bryan will remain in custody until 24 November.

Greenpeace’s International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo said: “There is absolutely no justification for any charge of piracy, or the decision to deny bail. Our peaceful activists and the two freelancers are being locked away for bringing international scrutiny to Gazprom’s risky Arctic drilling programme. This is a naked attempt to intimidate anyone who opposes the Arctic oil rush and it will not stand.”

 

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