Activist has Russian bail refused

British activist Alexandra Harris, who is being held in Russia on piracy charges, was today refused bail during a court appearance. She was arrested along with 29 other people on a Greenpeace ship in the Arctic, last month.

Greenpeace activist says prison is like 'slowly dying'

A Greenpeace campaigner who was imprisoned by Russian authorities last month on piracy charges has written an emotional letter to her family, saying she is "trying very, very hard not to lose hope".

Greenpeace activist Alexandra Harris has had her appeal for bail denied by Russian authorities.
Greenpeace activist Alexandra Harris has had her appeal for bail denied by Russian authorities. Credit: Dimitri Sharomov/Greenpeace

In an edited extract of a letter published by the Guardian, Alexandra Harris, one of the six Britons held following a Greenpeace protest against oil drilling in the Arctic, said she was "nervous" of spending winter in her cold cell but had found ways to keep her spirits up.

"Being in prison is like slowly dying," she wrote. "I'm worried about what's going to happen."

Dame Vivienne Westwood has backed the campaign for Alexandra Harris to be freed.
Dame Vivienne Westwood has backed the campaign for Alexandra Harris to be freed. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

"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."

"The music channel helps a lot. 'I Will Survive' is played every night so Camila [Speziale, an Argentinian activist also in detention] and I tap on the wall in beat with the song. Speaking to the girls every day really helps too."

Greenpeace protesters were seized on the Arctic Sunrise ship in September.
Greenpeace protesters were seized on the Arctic Sunrise ship in September. Credit: Greenpeace

"I'm a different person now; stronger," she said. "I cry less, which is a good thing. And I'm so appreciative of life. I will not take anything for granted now."

Ms Harris has had her appeal for bail denied by the Russian authorities.

Greenpeace activist's bail appeal rejected in court

British Greenpeace Artic 30 activist Alexandra Harris, who was detained last month on piracy charges when armed Russian officials boarded their vessel, the Arctic Sunrise, has had her appeal for bail turned down.

Harris was part of a group of 30 people, which included five other Britons, who were arrested by Russian coast guards in September.
Harris was part of a group of 30 people, which included five other Britons, who were arrested by Russian coast guards in September. Credit: Dimitri Sharomov/Greenpeace

Read: Recap: Thirty detained in Russia on piracy charges

Alexandra Harris pictured at her bail hearing today in Murmansk.
Alexandra Harris pictured at her bail hearing today in Murmansk. Credit: Dimitri Sharomov/Greenpeace

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Father: British activist being 'treated well' in Russia

The father of Greenpeace activist Alexandra Harris who is being detained in Russia on piracy charges has said she is being "treated well".

Clifford Harris told ITV News that he spoke to her recently and she is "completely mystified why all this is happening"

He added that the family are hoping she will be deported after being detained for two months pending investigation.

Read: British activist faces piracy charges in Russian court

Recap: Thirty detained in Russia on piracy charges

Last month, a group of 30 people, which included six Britons, were arrested when armed Russian officials boarded their vessel, the Arctic Sunrise.

Greenpeace insists they were staging a demonstration against oil drilling, but Russia has charged all of the detainees with piracy, and hinted that further charges may follow.

Russia armed guards purportedly about to board the Greenpeace ship on September 18 Credit: Greenpeace

Those arrested include citizens of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, The Netherlands, Finland, France, Sweden, Poland, Turkey and Ukraine and the US.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the activists were clearly not pirates but that their protest did violate the law.

The case has already upset Moscow's international ties, with the Netherlands launching legal proceedings against Russia, saying it had unlawfully detained the activists and others.

Read: Arctic activists' plight fails to crack Russia's Lavrov

British activist faces piracy charges in Russian court

British activist Alexandra Harris who is being detained in Russia on piracy charges is due to appear in court today.

She was part of a group of 30, which included five other Britons, who were last month arrested by Russian coast guards in the Arctic.

Dame Vivienne Westwood stands in front of banners urging for Alexandra Harris to be freed. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Greenpeace insists they were staging a demonstration against oil drilling, but Russia has charged them all with piracy, and has hinted that further charges may follow.

Ms Harris, along with Kieron Bryan, activist Philip Ball and second engineer Iain Rogers have been detained for two months pending a piracy investigation.

Two other Britons, Frank Hewetson and Anthony Perrett are also being detained, having had earlier bail applications denied.

Greenpeace is calling on people to come together in a "global day of solidarity" in support of the campaign to secure the release of the detainees.

Read: Brits' Russia bail rejected