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November 18, 2013

Jailed Kieron Bryan facing further three months behind bars

By Darren Boyle

Jailed journalist Kieron Bryan is due in a Russian court later today where prosecutors are looking to extend his period of detention.

The 29 year old videographer has been in custody for more than 60 days. However, Russian authorities now want to hold him until February 2014 while they continue to investigate hooliganism charges.

Bryan is one of 30 people who were arrested aboard the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise when it was stormed by Russian special forces in September.

Earlier today activist Colin Russell appeared before a court in St Petersburg, where he was told he was being detained until February. 

Bryan and the other captives are expected to appear in court later today.

Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo said: "The authorities say they need three months more to investigate an imaginary offence over which they have no jurisdiction.

"They say they need to keep those brave men and women in jail until February so they can probe a crime that simply did not happen.

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"This case is now a circus. Our friends may now be in jail for months longer, all because they made a stand for all of us in the pristine Arctic.

"We will continue to pursue every legal avenue we can, and leave no stone unturned, until each and every one of them is home with their families.

"We hope the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea will order their release when they adjudicate on Friday."

Before being told he must remain in prison, Colin Russell told the judge: "I haven't done anything wrong.

"I don't understand the reasons why I've been detained. I've done two months' hard time for nothing."

John Sauven, Greenpeace's executive director, said: "The decision by the Russian court to extend the remand of the first of the Arctic 30 to another three months imprisonment, without trial, is turning the legal process into a sham.

"If the court applies this extension to all of our activists, they will have done five months without being convicted of anything. The 30 presently being held are neither pirates nor hooligans and it is time prosecuting authorities recognised what has become obvious to the world – that what they're doing bears no resemblance to justice."

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