Saturday, 5 October 2013

Great turnout at the embassy protest

Today's protest at the Russian Embassy in London was very well attended, with plenty of 'Free Kieron' banners in evidence. This BBC News video report has a brief interview with Andy Bryan and shows the strength of the support Kieron has: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24413601

The new official Twitter account of the campaign, @FreeKieron has some photos and updates from the protest.

Kieron's brother Russell Bryan spoke at the event:


There were plenty of banners and placards expressing support for Kieron, many pointing out that Kieron is a journalist, not a pirate:


Actor Jude Law and Blur frontman Damon Albarn were present at the protest. http://uk.news.yahoo.com/greenpeace-demo-russian-embassy-023127894.html


The protest has generated plenty of media coverage. BBC article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24412408

Andy also appeared on the BBC News Channel at about 9:15 pm as a guest in the studio. He was careful to emphasise Kieron's journalistic status. If video is released of this I will link to it in due course.

Also today, in Kieron's home village of Shebbear, £400 was raised at a coffee morning fundraiser. Thanks to Keith Horwell for organising this event.

Yesterday there was a small ray of hope for the Free Kieron campaign when the Dutch government began formal legal action against Russia.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24395769 . The Arctic Sunrise flies under the Dutch flag.

The government of the Netherlands has applied to the United Nation's Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, based in Hamburg. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, it would be difficult for the Russians to ignore this. So far, however, the response has not been hugely encouraging.

"Moscow slammed the Netherlands for not having intervened in the situation earlier.

“Over the last year and a half the Russian side made repeated attempts to contact their Dutch counterparts to intervene in the vessel’s illegal activities”, Russian Foreign Ministry deputy head Aleksey Meshkov told RIA Novosti on Saturday. “Unfortunately, this was not done. Therefore we have significantly more questions for the Dutch side than they can have for us.”

 http://rt.com/news/russia-netherlands-arctic-sunrise-774/

This article also quotes staff working on the oil rig at the centre of the controversy. More can be found here: http://ruptly.tv/vod/view/4556/russia-rig-was-forearmed-to-deal-with-greenpeace-boarding .

"An attempt by Greenpeace to board Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya rig one year ago gave the rig's crew the experience to deal with a second crack by the pressure group last month. Early on the morning of Wednesday, September 18 the rig's captain was informed that Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise vessel was just a few miles away - and that its behaviour was unusual."

The Dutch legal action remains a hugely positive development. The Russian government will need to formally respond in some capacity. There may be some discussion about the exact location of the Arctic Sunrise and the Greenpeace inflatables and if they were in Russia's territorial waters, or the security zone of the oil rig. I have read conflicting information about the exact definition of the security area - whilst there can be no dispute that the Greenpeace inflatable boats were in breach, the Arctic Sunrise's exact status may become significant.

For up-to-the minute updates, follow @FreeKieron on twitter (https://twitter.com/FreeKieron), and 'like' the Free Kieron page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/freekieron). Both of these are linked from this site.

I will continue to update this site as the situation develops. Please spread the word. Let's all help to Free Kieron.