REFILE-Russia refuses to bail two Britons held for Greenpeace protest

Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:13am EDT
 
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* Environmental protesters being held on piracy charges

* First foreigners to appeal against detention fail

* Finish minister resigns over separate Greenpeace protest

By Gabriela Baczynska

MOSCOW, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Two Britons held in Russia for a Greenpeace protest were ordered to remain in pre-trial detention on Friday, a defeat for the first of the many foreigners among the 30 detainees to seek bail.

Freelance videographer Kieron Bryan and Greenpeace activist Phillip Ball, who, like the others, face piracy charges, had appealed against their detention through late November.

The court, in the northern port city of Murmansk, had already denied bail to four Russians held for the Sept. 18 protest in which a Greenpeace boat was boarded by security forces close to an oil rig in the Arctic.

The arrests and the piracy charges - punishable by up to 15 years in prison - appear aimed at deterring protests and sending a message that Moscow will not tolerate any such actions.   Continued...