Arctic 30: British Greenpeace Activists, Alexandra Harris and Kieron Byron, Released On Bail In Russia


The Arctic 30 has dwindled to the Arctic 14 today, as Russian judges granted bail to more of the Greenpeace activists jailed in St. Petersburg - including two Britons.

Video-journalist Kieron Byron has revealed his relief, while Alexandra Harris skipped for joy as she was granted bail after she was arrested over attempts by Greenpeace to occupy the Prirazlomnaya oil platform in the Pechora Sea, Sky News reported.

Kieron Bryan was filming the Greenpeace protest

Ms Harris, from Devon, is the first of the six Britons to be given bail, following similar decisions affecting 12 others.

One other Briton, Anthony Perrett will face a similar application for bail heard by the court later today.

A Greenpeace spokesperson said: "We need to remember they're still charged with really horrible charges and we've no clue as to the next steps, so we're not celebrating yet. But that moment when they say they're released on bail is quite amazing".

Ms Harris revealed the hardship she had suffered during her time in Russia.

"This has been the hardest experience of my life. I'm really happy. It's not over yet but there's light at the end of the tunnel," she told Sky News.

"It's nice that the Russian's made the right decision."

But judges in the Greenpeace hearings had previously agreed with prosecutors that the foreign activists in the case were a flight risk, but the Primorsky court did not say whether the nine could leave Russia while on bail.

No trial dates have yet been set and Mads Christensen of Greenpeace said: "We cannot be at all confident that the Arctic 30 are going home any time soon.

"None of them have passports, so as things stand at the very least they could be restricted to Russian territory.

"And they are still charged with at least one very serious offence which could see them jailed for many years. Nobody at Greenpeace is celebrating yet."

As she was earlier led into the courtroom by police, Ms Harris had told supporters she felt "trapped inside a political game".

"When I talk about the last two months it's hard not to get emotional," she told Sky.

She had previously written a heartbreaking letter to her parents in which she described how she feared being "left to rot."

"I'm worried about what's going to happen," she wrote. "I have moments of feeling panicky, but then I try to tell myself that there's nothing I can do from in here and what will be will be so it's pointless worrying. But it's hard. Surely my future isn't rotting in prison in Murmansk?!"

The activists said the Russian officials pointed guns at them

The group of 30, hailing from 18 countries, detained when armed Russian officials boarded their vessel, the Arctic Sunrise, last month.

They now face charges including piracy, a crime that carries notoriously harsh sentences.

Before You Go