Parents 'worried' by piracy probe
The parents of a British journalist held in Russia for suspected piracy after a Greenpeace protest at an Arctic oil rig have said they are "extremely worried".
A group of 30, including six Britons, were held last week when armed Russian officials boarded their vessel, the Arctic Sunrise.
The boat and protesters were taken from the Arctic's Pechora sea, near to oil company Gazprom's platform, to the port of Murmansk.
A Russian court refused bail to and jailed for two months a number of Greenpeace activists and freelance videographer Keiron Bryan, from Devon.
They have not been charged, though Russian authorities are investigating charges of piracy, which carry a jail term of 10 to 15 years.
Mr Bryan's parents, Andy and Ann Bryan, issued a statement today on the eve of the appearance of two UK Greenpeace activists in a court in Murmansk.
The couple, from Shebbear in Devon, said: "We have been, and still are, extremely worried by the events of the past week.
"Our son is a very kind, caring individual and environmental issues have always been very close to his heart. He would sympathise with the cause but he was simply there doing his job as a freelance videographer.
"None of those on board should be subjected to this prolonged period of detention. They are extremely brave, caring individuals who were peacefully protesting to bring the world's attention to the dangers of drilling in that particular area and of the serious consequences it could have on that already fragile environment.
"We are told that they are being treated fairly and are all well, for which we are extremely grateful. However, the fact that they are still there at all is a farce and quite out of proportion to their actions.
"We all love and miss him and just want him home safe and sound."
Greenpeace has listed those detained by Russian authorities and the decision of the court.
From Britain, activists Philip Ball and Alexandra Harris, videographer Mr Bryan and second engineer Iain Roger have been detained for two months pending a piracy investigation.
Two other British activists, Frank Hewetson and Anthony Perrett, were detained for three days pending a new hearing - which will take place tomorrow.
Greenpeace is campaigning against attempts by companies to drill for oil in the waters of the Arctic, warning that a spill would be highly environmentally damaging and extraction of more fossil fuels will add to climate change.
Gazprom's plans to start drilling from the Prirazlomnaya platform in the first quarter of 2014 raised the risk of an oil spill in an area that contains three nature reserves protected by Russian law, campaigners said.