Britons held in Greenpeace protest return home

Five of the six Britons held in Russian jail pose for pictures upon their return to London
Five of the six Britons held in Russian jail pose for pictures upon their return to London Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

All six of the Britons arrested by Russia during Greenpeace protests in September have now been freed, with five of them returning to London.

The six Britons were among 30 people detained in September during demonstrations at sea against oil drilling in the Arctic by Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Anthony Perrett pictured during his time in custody
Anthony Perrett pictured during his time in custody Credit: PA Wire

The group, dubbed the 'Arctic 30' by Greenpeace, were charged with piracy by Russian authorities, an approach deemed heavy-handed by Prime Minister David Cameron and other European leaders.

Anthony Perrett leads the five Britons off their train into London's St Pancras station
Anthony Perrett leads the five Britons off their train into London's St Pancras station Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

One of the freed Brits, Anthony Perrett, 32, said his ordeal "was definitely worth it" and that he would return to the country if needed.

ITV News' Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports:

Warning: This report contains flash photography

"It's been a very long 100 days," he said before leaving Russia. "I'm quite eager to get back to Wales and sleep in my own bed and get back to work."

Alexandra Harris, Anthony Perrett, Phil Ball, Kieron Bryan and Iain Rogers left St Petersburg and travelled from Paris by Eurostar to meet their families in London. A sixth Briton, activist Frank Hewetson, has also been released and is travelling to another country.

Actors Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton join Alexandra Harris's sister Georgie to show their support for activists charged in Russia
Actors Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton join Alexandra Harris's sister Georgie to show their support for activists charged in Russia Credit: Twitter/Greenpeace

Members of the Arctic 30 were released on bail in November and all charges against them were dropped on Boxing Day, although some - including one of the released British activists, Alexandra Harris - believe the move was designed to improve Russia's image before the Winter Olympics begin in Sochi in February.

Greenpeace said their protesters were threatened with knives and guns
Greenpeace said their protesters were threatened with knives and guns Credit: Greenpeace

Ms Harris told ITV News that she and other members of the Arctic 30 were "treated better than the Russian prisoners, because the world's watching us".

Russia's handling of their captives drew criticism from other countries
Russia's handling of their captives drew criticism from other countries Credit: Twitter/Greenpeace

"We spent two months inside a Russian jail cell and a hundred days detained for a crime we didn't commit," she added. "It was obscene, a complete overreaction on behalf of Russia and we should never have been there."

Read: Profiles of the five freed Brits

Watch: Footage shows Greenepace activists held at gunpoint