Wotton-under-Edge family fear for journalist Kieron Bryon held in Russia after Arctic protest for piracy
Freelance journalist Kieron Bryan is being detained in Russia despite not being a Greenpeace member or activist
THE WOTTON family of a freelance journalist arrested alongside Greenpeace activists in Russia is appealing for his release.
Kieron Bryan was documenting the organisation’s work on Russian oil exploration in the Arctic Circle when he was detained last month.
His uncle Colin Weston, 55, of Wotton-under-Edge, told the Gazette the whole family, including his wife Clare, was rallying around to try and secure Kieron’s release.
The 29-year-old filmmaker was employed by Greenpeace to document a protest at the Prirazlomnaya oil platform.
Following an attempt by two activists to climb the oil rig on Friday, September 18, the Russian national security service stormed the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise.
Seizing the ship, the FSB towed the crew five days to the port of Murmansk.
Arrested alongside 28 activists and a freelance photographer, Kieron was last Wednesday charged with piracy, which carries a minimum ten year prison term under Russian law.
Mr Weston stressed that Keiron, who frequently spent time in Wotton as a child, had not been on board in an activist position.
He said: “Kieron is a journalist and not a Greenpeace activist or a Greenpeace member.”
Kieron previously worked for The Times for three years, leaving in January to pursue freelance opportunities. This was his second commission with the charity, following a successful trip round the west coast of Norway.
Mr Weston described his nephew as an avid football fan who loves music and reading. As a talented freelance journalist he has covered the past two American Presidential elections.
The family received a letter from Kieron before he was charged with piracy, in which he wrote about his fears for the future and the effect this is having on his family.
"Please keep telling the world the truth, I’m a journalist. I was doing my job, that’s all," he wrote. "It sounds very serious and while I hope the worst doesn’t happen I have to prepare for it, so far the unexpected has won and caused chaos for us all. I am trying to accept that that pattern might continue."
Actor Jude Law and musician Damon Albarn joined 800 people, including Kieron's parents Ann and Andy Bryan, protesting outside the Russian Embassy in London on Saturday over the arrests.
An online campaign has been set up to raise awareness of Kieron’s plight and secure his release.
To give your support sign the Free Kieron petition and to keep up to date visit www.FreeKieron.org.uk or follow the campaign on Twitter or on the Facebook page.
You can also show your support by signing the Greenpeace petition to free all 30 detainees.
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