Yesterday, Kieron Bryan, a Greenpeace International contracted freelance videographer, and an activist, Philip Ball, (from the United Kingdom) attended a bail hearing at the Regional court of Murmansk. Kieron Bryan was commissioned by Greenpeace International to document a peaceful protest at an Arctic oil rig operated by Gazprom and is now one of the ‘Arctic 30′ who are now in custody charged with piracy, punishable for up to 15 years in jail.
The Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise was towed into Murmansk port soon after the protest by a Russian Coast Guard vessel. The activists onboard have been charged of piracy in Russia for a protest against Arctic oil drilling in the Pechora Sea. Kieran Bryan was one of the ‘Arctic 30′ (twenty-eight Greenpeace International activists, as well as a freelance photographer and a freelance videographer) that have appeared in a court in Murmansk, Russia. Charges were laid, and all 30 are being held for two months as Russian authorities pursue an investigation around piracy charges. Greenpeace International insists that possible piracy charges are unjustified, and that Russian authorities boarded the Arctic Sunrise illegally in international waters. Several international legal experts have supported that view.
Friends and family of Kieron Bryan also stood in solidarity last weekend during the Global Day of Solidarity in London for the ‘Arctic 30.’ Hundreds of people gathered at their local Russian Embassy supporting the ‘Arctic 30′ and asking for their release. As the Arctic melts before our eyes, these brave activists stand in defiance of those who wish to exploit this unfolding crisis to drill for more oil. Tens of thousands of people participated in activities held in over 160 locations in 46 countries throughout the world to show their concern for the environment, support for the activists, and to demonstrate that peaceful activism should not be mistaken for a crime.