1. ITV Report

Family fear for filmmaker held after Arctic protest

Freelance videographer Kieron Bryan is being held on piracy charges after being arrested along with Greenpeace activists on a protest ship. Photo: Nick Cobbing/Greenpeace/PA Wire

The family of a British filmmaker imprisoned in Russia following a protest on an Arctic oil rig last month have spoke of their fears for his wellbeing.

Keiron Bryan is being held along with 28 activists and another journalist by Russian authorities after the Greenpeace protest boat they were on was boarded by armed members of the coast guard.

The filmmaker has told his family he is frightened he could spend "years" behind bars as he was been charged with piracy, which carries a sentence of 15 years.

His parents said he is living in a isolated cell, unable to communicate, as Diplomatic Correspondent John Ray reports.

He has been held since September 19 after armed guards boarded the Greenpeace ship and arrested everyone on board.

In a letter to his parents shortly after his arrest for piracy, a charge that has been described a "ludicrous" he said was preparing himself for the worst.

It all sounds very serious and whilst I hope the worst doesn't happen, I have to prepare for it.

His father, Andy Bryan said the piracy charges against him did not seem to fit what actually occurred.

They were unarmed, they had only a banner to put on the rig.

They were not planning to take over the rig. All of which seem to me to be definitions of what piracy is.

Everyone on the ship was arrested just one day after they attempted to mount an oil rig inside the Russian Arctic owned by Russian oil giant Gazprom.

They were prevented from doing so after they were reportedly fired at by the Russia coast guard.