viernes, 20 de junio de 2008

Greenpeace whale activists arrested in Japan

Two Greenpeace activists who exposed a whale meat embezzlement fraud in Japan -- Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki -- have been themselves arrested -- for allegedly stealing the whale meat that they turned over to police as evidence.

Junichi Sato,
arrested for exposing
the theft of whale meat
from Japanese taxpayers
This is the backlash. We've uncovered a scandal involving powerful forces in the Japanese government that benefit from whaling, and it's not surprising they are striking back.
What is surprising is that these activists, who are innocent of any crime, would be arrested for returning whale meat that was stolen from Japanese taxpayers. Theirs are, to date, the only arrests that have been made in the Tokyo public prosecutor's investigation into the embezzlement we documented of millions of yen worth of whale meat.
This was not a police action -- it was an intimidation tactic by the government agencies responsible for whaling -- and the kind of harassment of whistleblowers that a modern democracy should not allow. Our first news that an arrest was imminent came from Japanese television stations. Someone leaked the information to ensure images of Greenpeace activists in handcuffs appeared on news reports in Japan.

More than 40 police officer raided our offices and the homes of the activists, and spent 10 hours seizing cell phones, documents, and computers, despite the fact that we had documented every step of how we obtained the whale meat, turned the full dossier over with the evidence, and made ourselves available to police to help with the investigation at any time. A simple phone call could have brought Junichi and Toru to the police station. Instead, the government made a public spectacle of shutting Greenpeace down.

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