World-famous Norwegian photographer Knut Bree was arrested on the island of Lesbos on Wednesday afternoon while taking a photo shoot in the island’s harbor in the eastern Aegean. According to local non-governmental organizations, Bry is arrested on charges of espionage.
In a brief statement, the Norwegian embassy in Athens said they were aware of the arrest of a Norwegian citizen in Lesbos and were offering assistance in accordance with the consular framework. Bry was reportedly arrested while taking photographs for his next photo album of the landscapes of Lesvos.
According to a local publication Stonisithe photographer was detained for photographing ships of the Greek Coast Guard and the Navy.
Citing Coast Guard sources, the publication notes that the photographs he took were warships. During a search of his house, in the presence of a court representative, electronic archives with photographs were seized, which are now under examination.
“The arrested person was handed over to the prosecutor of first instance of Mytilini with charges of espionage and was given 24 hours to prepare his testimony,” Stonisi said. He will testify on Friday.
According to a local news site, the photographer has agreed to the publication of his name. During the refugee crisis, he was a volunteer and joined the Lesbos Solidarity group since 2016.
Meanwhile, locals wrote on social media that the port is commercial and there is no sign prohibiting photography, and that every local resident takes pictures in the area.
#greece: According to @Lesvosolidarity, the famous Norwegian photographer Knut Bry was arrested yesterday, while shooting pictures for his next book, on the charge of espionage! Probably because he’s volunteering on #Lesvossupporting #RefugeesGr!https://t.co/WJkZumbvux pic.twitter.com/OjY7EHDhAm
— Vassilis Tsarnas (@VassilisTsarnas) March 17, 2022
He is also reportedly the creator of three deluxe albums about Lesvos, cooking and nature, which are produced in collaboration with Metochi Norwegian Education Center and promote the island around the world.
Lesvos Solidarity and a human rights group indicated that Bry was arrested for participating in volunteer work that was aimed at helping refugees from Asia and Africa.
As we reported earlier, many NGOs operating in Lesvos and other islands bordering Turkey have been involved in helping illegal migrants, as well as in espionage in favor of Turkey. As a result there were arrested more than 30 people.