Greenpeace ship Briton 'prepared for long prison term'

Kieron Bryan at bail hearing in Murmansk, Russia
Image caption Kieron Bryan was denied bail at a court hearing in Russia this week

A British man detained in Russia after a Greenpeace protest has told his family he fears a long jail term.

Video journalist Kieron Bryan, 29, from London, was on board the Arctic Sunrise at an offshore oil drilling rig when 30 people were arrested last month.

In a letter to his family, he assured them he was well apart from the "horrible uncertainty and anxiety".

Mr Bryan, originally from Devon and one of six Britons arrested, was denied bail earlier this week.

A court in Murmansk ruled that Mr Bryan and activist Philip Ball, from Oxfordshire, should remain in pre-trial detention until 24 November.

'Lack of communication'

Mr Bryan wrote: "The food is basic or grim but I'll not starve. The guards can't communicate but are polite and harmless, likewise my cell mate can barely string two words of English together but he is fine with me.

"Lack of communication has been really tough - I just hope my lawyer can get messages to you. I will ask him to send you the prison address - packages are allowed.

Image caption The six Britons are being detained in the port of Murmansk in north-west Russia

"Things to keep me occupied are always welcome - I'm running out of books since we've swapped between the group already. Hopefully Greenpeace and the embassy can help there too.

"I'm not allowed to see the others I came with, we are being kept separately and the only chance to talk comes during the exercise period - it involves shouting over two-metre-high walls and hoping someone can speak English nearby."

Piracy claim

Mr Bryan said those arrested were "pieces in a game we didn't want to participate in".

He added: "I'm trying to prepare myself for a lengthy sentence. Everyone says it's very unlikely but all of this feels unlikely. I'll get through this, we all will."

The other detained Britons are logistics co-ordinator Frank Hewetson, from London; activist Anthony Perrett, from Newport, south Wales; communications officer Alexandra Harris, originally from Devon; and 2nd engineer Iain Rogers, from Exeter.

Image caption The Arctic Sunrise is being held in Russian custody

Greenpeace has called for the release of Mr Bryan on the basis he was a journalist working alongside activists.

All those arrested have been accused of piracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites