Blur frontman Damon Albarn has called on Russian officials to free the Greenpeace protesters held on piracy charges.

The crew and captain of a Greenpeace ship protesting against an oil platform in the Arctic were arrested for piracy in September (13) when some of them tried to climb the Prirazlomnaya rig, which is operated by Russian energy company Gazprom.

The group of 30 protesters, including American captain Peter Wilcox, could face jail sentences of up to 15 years if convicted of piracy, but Albarn insists they have been treated disgracefully.

Speaking to Britain's Channel 4 News, he says, "The Russians should recognise this is peaceful protest. Any form of peaceful protest should not be approached as piracy or blasphemy."