Journalist walks free from detention on bail

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

Sheffield University graduate Kieron Bryan has been freed on bail by the Russian authorities after two months in detention.

The 29-year-old was one of 30 people arrested after a Greenpeace protest in September at an Arctic offshore oil rig owned by energy giant Gazprom.

Mr Bryan, who studied in Sheffield for four years until 2008, was a freelance video reporter who was asked to cover the event.

He was originally charged with piracy, which carries a 15 year sentence, but is now accused of hooliganism.

Greenpeace said Mr Bryan and two other Britons had now gone to an undisclosed location in St Petersburg.

Eleven other members of the group have also been allowed bail.

Mr Bryan’s family have been campaigning vociferously for his release, and attended a protest outside the Russian embassy.

He said it had been tough for the group, who were at first held in Murmansk before being moved to a detention centre in St Petersburg.

“More than anything, it’s the isolation and not being able to speak to anyone, not being able to speak a common language,” he said.

“Being trapped in a cell for 24 hours a day is something I don’t ever want to experience again, and there are a lot of people inside who have to carry on doing that.

“My plan now is to go to a hotel and have a long shower, leave my room whenever I want, never do another Sudoku puzzle again, and speak to my family. That’s the main plan.

“No idea about what happens next. I’m just focusing on getting through today, speaking to my family, and I’ll deal with everything from then.”

It is still unclear if Mr Bryan and the others charged will now be allowed to leave Russia. Of the five Britons granted bail, two are still awaiting their release.