Sea Shepherd seeks no-arrest guarantee


Sea Shepherd seeks no-arrest guarantee

 NEWLY landed Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson wants assurances he won’t be handed over to Japanese authorities before considering a visit to Australia.

Mr Watson, who is in the US after 15 months on the run at sea, has been granted an Australian business visa.

But Sea Shepherd Australia chairman Bob Brown says Mr Watson isn’t yet intending to use the visa.

“I don’t think he’s going to come here until he gets an assurance that he won’t be captured by a Japanese arrest warrant,” Dr Brown told reporters in Hobart.

Mr Watson is wanted by the Japanese over the militant anti-whaling campaign he led in Antarctic waters over the past decade.

He made landfall to give evidence in a civil action by Japanese whaling interests against Sea Shepherd’s US arm in a Seattle court.

The action prevents him from direct involvement in the conservation group’s actions in the Southern Ocean but a visit to Australia would provide a massive publicity boost as the group seeks to raise $4 million for what it is dubbing Operation Relentless.

Dr Brown said Mr Watson, who holds joint Canadian-US citizenship, felt safe in America.

“The US is very protective of its citizens and I couldn’t see a US administration handing Paul Watson over to Japan,” the former Greens leader said.

“There’d be a big furore in the United States if that were to happen.”

Attorney-General George Brandis’s office has been contacted for comment.

Dr Brown has also given evidence in Seattle, where whalers are seeking penalties for alleged breaches by Sea Shepherd US of a restraining order.

He said the case would not affect the three-ship protest planned for this summer because Sea Shepherd Australia has separated from the US arm.

“They’re trying a back door way of trying to stop Sea Shepherd and they’ll fail,” Dr Brown said.

Japan insists its annual whaling program is legal under allowances for a scientific catch.

In a separate action, Australia is challenging the legality of the whale hunt at the International Court of Justice, with the court deliberating and a ruling expected between now and March.




Editorial: SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras

Editorial Committee

David Dunham

Arno Ambrosius

Gustavo López Ospina

Mariana Almeida

Frank Brouwer

Pieter Jan Brouwer

Assistant: Emilia Romero

SELVA Vida Sin Fronteras acknowledges Kevin Schafer’s important contribution towards protecting the highly endangered Amazon pink fresh water dolphin. Title photographs of our “The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice” were taken by Mr. Schafer. 


~ by FSVSF Admin on 11 November, 2013.

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