Several dozen journalists took to the streets of Saint Petersburg to demand the release of Denis Sinyakov, detained on piracy charges along with the crew of a Greenpeace ship after an Arctic oil drilling protest.
During the protest in Russia’s second city, blindfolded photographers and other journalists held placards reading: “Who is next?” and “A photographer is not a pirate.”
“We would like to show that we support our colleague,” Alexander Koryakov, a photo editor with Kommersant told AFP.
“Unlike in the West where society comes up in support of journalists, in our country there is no one to defend journalists.” He put the turnout at some 60 people.
A former staff photographer for AFP and Reuters, Sinyakov was covering the Greenpeace protest for a Russian online site.
Sinyakov, along with the 29 crew members of Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise icebreaker, has been detained on piracy charges after several activists tried to scale a state oil rig last month.
The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. The group has been placed in pre-trial detention until late November.