Embassy man to meet with British journalist held on Russian piracy charges

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UK consular officials will visit a British journalist detained by Russian authorities on piracy charges later this week. 
 
Kieron Bryan was arrested by armed Russian security officials aboard the Greepeace vessel Arctic Sunrise along with 29 activists on 19 September. 
 
Bryan, along with the Greenpeace activists has been accused of piracy and faces up to 15 years in prison. 
 
He has been remanded in custody in Murmansk until November 24. 
 
Byran, who is from Exeter, Devon, is not a member of Greenpeace and was covering the group's protest as a videographer. 
 
The group was objecting to Russian attempts to drill for gas within the Arctic Circle. 
 
British consular officials have visted Bryan four times since he was detained, passing on messages from friends and family. They also anticipate visiting him again this week. 
 
The matter will be raised in Parliament on Wednesday morning by Labour MP Chris Bryant during a 30-minute debate in Westminster Hall. 
 
In a letter home Bryan wrote: “I am preparing myself for a lengthy sentence. Everyone says it is unlikely but all of this feels unlikely."
 
Bryan worked for The Times in London before taking the job with Greenpeace to film the protests. 
 
The journalist has received significant support from his colleagues back in London. 
 
The editors of The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, The Times, The Guardian, the Financial Times and the Independent have all signed a petition calling for his release.
 
The petition said: “Kieron is simply a freelance journalist who was doing his job. He is not a pirate. We feel it is unfair that Kieron has been locked up for covering an event.” 
 
So far 1,245 people have signed the petition – far more than the target goal of just 500. 
 

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