Outrage: Greenpeace whale meat scandal whistleblowers arrest

From the Green­peace Inter­na­tion­al web­site: “Japan­ese police have arrest­ed two Green­peace activists for expos­ing a whale meat scan­dal involv­ing the gov­ern­ment-spon­sored whal­ing pro­gram­me. The two activists, Junichi Sato, 31, and Toru Suzuki, 41, are being inves­ti­gat­ed for alleged­ly steal­ing a box of whale meat which they pre­sent­ed as evi­dence.”

Junichi is a friend of mine. While we’re hold­ing back on unleash­ing the cyber­dogs or call­ing in Amnesty on this one until we see if there’s a way to get him and Toru out of jail, please Digg this sto­ry and watch for an action ask. Pow­er­ful forces in Japan have decid­ed to strike back, and we can’t let them get away with it.

This is an attack on Green­peace in Japan. The biggest give­away? The first clue we had that Junichi and Toru were to be arrest­ed came from tele­vi­sion media in Japan ring­ing up to ask if we had a com­ment on the “impend­ing arrest.” So it was leaked to tele­vi­sion before­hand, pre­sum­ably to ensure images of Green­peace activists in hand­cuffs. In Japan, 90% of those arrest­ed are con­vict­ed, so the pre­sump­tion of guilt is very strong. The police then raid­ed five loca­tions — the activists’ homes, our two offices, and the hotel where Junichi was stay­ing. A phone call would have brought them in — we doc­u­ment­ed every step of how we obtained the whale meat box and turned it over to the pros­e­cu­tor. We made it clear that Junichi and every­one else involved were avail­able day or night to help in the inves­ti­ga­tion.

So why the heavy­hand­ed treat­ment? Could it be we hit a nerve with some­body? Watch this space, this could get ugly. Under Japan­ese law, Junichi and Toru can be held for a mon­th with­out charges. And if the author­i­ties were hon­est, those charges would be “embarass­ing cor­rupt Japan­ese offi­cials that don’t like a spot­light being shown upon their cosy lit­tle oper­a­tion which is bilk­ing Japan­ese tax­pay­ers out of US$4.7 mil­lion a year to kill whales for sci­ence nobody needs and whale meat that nobody buys.” In my book, that ain’t a crime.

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