Jailed journalist Kieron Bryan granted bail after more than 60 days in prison - Press Gazette

Jailed journalist Kieron Bryan granted bail after more than 60 days in prison

Jailed journalist Kieron Bryan was today granted bail after spending more than 60 days locked up in a Russian prison cell.

The 29-year-ld videographer appeared at the Primorsky Court in St Petersburg this morning. Wearing a green checked shirt and glasses, Bryan smiled when the judge read out testimonies and letters from family and friends.

Addressing the court, Bryan said: "I was on the Arctic Sunrise as a freelance journalist as many of the documents of support you have just read say.

"To be accused of hooliganism for doing my job as a reporter is the same as suggesting every journalist who works in a warzone is a soldier or the court reporter who works here today is somehow responsible for the outcome.

"I was simply there to observe, document and report as I always do in my job. I have absolutely no interest or participation in any organisation." 

The freelance recorded dramatic footage of Russian special forces fast-roping aboard the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise in September.

Yesterday, nine activists were told they would be bailed after court hearings in St Petersburg, following a similar ruling on Monday for three other members of the group.

During the hearing, Bryan told supporters: "Keep writing and hopefully I'll be out of a cage very soon."

In a statement Kieron's family said: "It's amazing news to know that Kieron will be released from prison soon. We have been thinking of him every minute of every day and we can't wait to speak to him and see him.

"Our relief is obviously tempered by the fact that he is still facing absurd charges, despite the fact that he was just doing his job. This isn't over for him or the others involved and we hope that these charges will be dropped soon so that he can carry on with his life without this terrible uncertainty hanging over him."

Australian Colin Russell has been told he will remain in jail until at least February while investigations continue.

Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace said: "In the space of two mornings we have had good news and bad, and the good news comes with a warning. We still have no idea what conditions our friends will endure when they are released from jail, whether they will be held under house arrest or even allowed outside.

"What we do know for certain is that they are still charged and could spend years behind bars if they are convicted for a crime they did not commit, and we remain baffled and heartbroken that our colleague Colin was refused bail and sent back to prison for three months. The Arctic 30 will not be free until every last one of them is back home with their families."

Greenpeace said as soon as one of the Arctic 30 is granted bail they will lodge the £38,000 required to secure their release with Russian authorities. However, lawyers representing the detainees said it may be next week before they are actually freed. 

Earlier today, activist Alex Harris was the first Briton to be granted bail.



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