MURMANSK, October 11 (RAPSI/RIA Novosti) – A Russian court in the northern city of Murmansk on Friday rejected bail appeals by UK nationals Philip Ball and Kieron Bryan, who were among 30 people arrested and charged with piracy over a Greenpeace protest in the Arctic in September.
Russian border guards seized the Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise ship on September 19, after several activists tried to scale an oil rig operated by an affiliate of state-run energy giant Gazprom in the Pechora Sea.
All crew members, arrested and charged with piracy, have appealed – seeking home arrest or bail.
On Tuesday, the court rejected bail appeals filed by photographer Denis Sinyakov, ship doctor Yekaterina Zaspa and Greenpeace spokesman Andrei Allakhverdov.
Speaking in court Friday, video journalist and former freelancer for the UK’s The Times newspaper Kieron Bryan was quoted as saying “If everyone was arrested for writing an article, journalists wouldn’t have existed.”
The Murmansk region court is set to hear appeals by Camila Speziale, from Argentina, and Christian D’Allesandro, from Italy, on October 14.
Greenpeace occupied the same platform in August last year. Six activists scaled the side of the oil rig and dangled from it in harnesses for several hours, holding a banner reading, “Don’t Kill the Arctic,” but eventually left without facing any legal consequences.
Under Russian law, piracy is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.