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December 24, 2013

Russian authorities drop all charges against journalist Kieron Bryan

By Darren Boyle

Russian authorities have dropped all charges against British journailst Kieron Bryan who should now be free to return home in the coming days. 

The 29 year-old video journalist filmed Russian special forces fast-roping onto the deck of the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise in September.

Bryan was among 30 people held for more than two months by Russian authorities. Initially the group was charged with piracy that could have resulted in a 15-year prison term.

The group, dubbed the Arctic 30, was released from custody last month although they could not leave Russia as they did not have the required exit visas.

It is understood that the group could secure the correct paper work on Thursday.

A Greenpeace spokesman said they need exit visas because they were charged and then bailed inside Russia after they were detained in international waters beyond Russia's territorial waters.

The Russian Parliament approved an amnesty decree last week freeing defendants who have been charged with hooliganism.

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The group had previously been accused of piracy, but the charge was later downgraded.

The Arctic 30 were initially detained in the Russian port city of Murmansk before being moved to St Petersburg and eventually bailed.

A global campaign to free the group, spearheaded by their families and Greenpeace, put pressure on the Russian government to release them.

 

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