Paul Watson decries ‘terrorist’ label

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November 13, 2013 (AFP) – Fugitive eco-activist Paul Watson said Wednesday that green warriors were being classed as “terrorists” and accused Japan of coercing other countries into making demands for his arrest.

The Canadian-born founder of Sea Shepherd, a marine conservation organisation, arrived in California on October 28, more than a year after fleeing arrest in Germany.

Watson, 62, who holds twin US and Canadian nationality, said he is in talks to be able to stay in France as he can expect a fair trial in the country.

Japanese authorities are seeking his extradition and describe methods used by Watson’s Sea Shepherd society against whaling ships — for example blocking the boats’ propellers — as “terrorist”.

“I figure on Interpol’s Red List initially at the demand of Japan, Germany and Costa Rica,” he told France’s Le Monde daily, adding that the last two nations had since dropped the request.

“I don’t understand why I find myself listed alongside assassins and terrorists just because I want to save some whales,” the former Greenpeace activist said.

“Environmental activists are the new enemies. In Canada, they are viewed as potential terrorists. In the United States, the FBI has placed them along with Al-Qaeda and animal-rights activists as the biggest domestic terrorist threats.”

Sea Shepherd, founded in 1977, has chased the Japanese fleet hunting whales off Antarctica for several years in a bid to stop the animals being slaughtered.

Japan says it conducts vital scientific research using a loophole in an international ban on whaling, but makes no secret of the fact that the mammals ultimately end up as food.

Watson was arrested in May last year in Frankfurt on a warrant from Costa Rica, where he is wanted on charges stemming from a high-seas confrontation over shark finning in 2002.

“I know that Costa Rica demanded my arrest just 10 days after its president met the Japanese prime minister,” he told the newspaper, adding that they had revived a case that went back a decade.

Watson’s boat had rammed into a Costa Rican fishing boat that Sea Shepherd says was illegally cutting shark fins. Charges of attempted murder and destruction of property were later dismissed but Costa Rica reissued its arrest warrant.

Watson said he was in talks to seek refuge in France, the only country apart from the United States where he said he expects a fair trial.

“I am not saying ‘Don’t extradite me to Japan’. I just want to have the right to explain my stand. My lawyer… is very hopeful that France will agree to let me in.

“We have had a lot of support and more than 100,000 people have signed a petition so that I can come,” he said.

The Australian arm of Sea Shepherd is ready to set sail again on December 1 to disrupt the Japanese whalers.

“If we don’t save the seas, we will not be able to save ourselves,” he said. “If the ocean dies, we will die. That is my sole message.”

 

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  • JeannieDC

    My God.. Do people not get it!! If our Ocean dies we die!! This man is a HERO… Japan do you just want to kill all your people and our people for what $$$ Well there will be no use for money when we are all dead!! Figure some other way to make $$ Your smart enough to know better and to create $$ without destroying OUR (Every country) oceans it’s not just your ocean

    • ddpalmer

      My God..can you not control your fanatisicm? Why is a egomaniac who ‘protects’ causes that can garner his ‘charity’ the maximum donations rather than the causes that are most important a HERO. Sounds more like a ZERO.
      The species and levels at which Japan hunts whales are sustainable. As shown by the fact that none of the species they hunt are showing a decreasing population.
      Meanwhile he ignores species that actually need protection.
      Face facts, he goes after Japan in the Southern Ocean because he believes he can get away with it. He doesn’t go after the Japanese hunt in the North Pacific. He doesn’t go after Iceland. He doesn’t go after Norway. He doesn’t use his direct action techniques against the Faeroe Islands.

    • Ramtane Lamamra

      Jeannie, we may indeed die if the oceans die. But whether the oceans live or die has nothing to do with the handful of whale being harvested by Japan. And it certainly has absolutely nothing to do with Paul Watson. The best he could do for the oceans would be to have his carcass tossed into it for fish food, ala O. Bin Laden..

    • Morphy Smith

      leftwing MORON.

  • Scott MacDougall

    The reality is we, a collective we, meaning most of the world’s population IS killing the ocean. Few countries actually fish the ocean responsibly and with sustainability in mind. The garbage dumped into the ocean daily by the US would truly astound most people yet we do not hear of this or see any news stories on it. The industrial pollution from all over the world, I would be surprised if our oceans last another 20 yrs. Attention should be focused on the REAL polluters and those responsible for the future but certain death of our oceans, governments, politicians, lobbyists. Is there a recognized international body that can enforce “international laws” for the safekeeping of our oceans. Do such laws exist? Are they current? I think we are way behind the curve on this and may not be able to ever get in front of it.

  • ddpalmer

    Well I see Mr Watson is lying again. Initially he was on Interpol’s Red list solely by REQUEST of Costa Rica. Later a REQUEST was added by Japan. And Germany NEVER asked for any Interpol notice on him.

    He was not put on the list for wanting to save some whales. he was put on the list initially for his attack on a shark finning boat. And Japan’s request is based on vilations of UNCLOS. I suppose he believes that anything he does to try and save some whales is exempt from any other laws because he is just such a nice guy? If he tries to save some whales by sinking one of the whaling boats at the pier would he be exempt from arrest for destruction of property?

    Why should Japan make a secret of the fact that the are following the IWC regulations? You know, the regulation that REQUIRES them to process the meat.

    • JeannieDC

      Sorry…But I live in Costa Rica and I get to see first hand the Long Line damages happening in our Ocean and all the Seaturtle and Dolphins that are killed due to long lines or sweeping nets… Watson or no Watson…. something needs to be done and at least he is doing something and I don’t see him killing any of these mammals he is on a mission to SAVE not KILL so
      …HERO!!! And one man can’t cover the earth. If you’re so concerned about the other countries then get your ass out there and make a difference!!

      • ddpalmer

        Well then since you “see first hand the Long Line damages happening in our Ocean and all the Seaturtle and Dolphins that are killed due to long lines or sweeping nets”, then wouldn’t a HERO being working to stop the Long Line damages and not galavanting off once a year to “protect” an abundant species of whale?
        I didn’t say I was concerned with the other countries, so take the knot out of your panties. I was pointing out that he goes where he can get publicity with the minimum chance of arrest and he ignores real threats, like the long liners you complain about.
        And I assume you spend a lot of your time fighting the long liners, right?

    • Ramtane Lamamra

      The article says that the charges in Costa Rica were ‘dismissed’. Is that correct? I was under the impression he fled from Costa Rica before trial.

      • ddpalmer

        I am not positive. But my understanding is that the charges were never dismissed, they expired because of Watson fleeing. Then they were reinstated last year.

        I do know that for some reason the Costa Rican Interpol Red Notice doesn’t show up on the Interpol website. I don’t know if Costa Rica withdrew it or exactly what the story with it is.

        But the Japanese Red Notice is still active.

        • Gene Sasserky

          Costa Rica asked the US for the extradition of Paul Watson on November 5, 2013. The Costa Rican Warrant is very active,

  • Blamminski

    The largest terrorist org. in Costa Rica is ICE.

    • ddpalmer

      And what does that have to do with this article?

  • ddpalmer

    On Nov. 5, Costa Rica’s First Circuit Penal Court of San José requested the U.S. arrest Watson and extradite him to Costa Rica.

    “Finding the accused [Watson] in the United States, we request his immediate capture, and once that has been executed the procedure for his extradition will begin,” the request from First Circuit Judge Jorge Cordero stated.

    A spokeswoman for Costa Rica’s judicial branch confirmed on Wednesday the request had been sent via diplomatic channels to the U.S. government.

    • Ramtane Lamamra

      Fantastic news. May justice be served and heinous crimes be punished.

    • ddpalmer

      I find it really funny that someone down votes a comment that is just a purely factual quote from a TicoTimes news article.
      Gee some people are just so fanatical and bias it is laughable.

  • AnimuX

    I think it’s unlikely that the USA will extradite one of its citizens to a banana republic like Costa Rica over such a thinly veiled example of corrupt political persecution.

    Sea Shepherd intercepted Costa Rican shark poachers in 2002 who were illegally finning sharks in Guatemalan waters. During the confrontation a ship collision occurred in which nobody was injured or killed.

    So, in typical form, the Costa Rican government repeatedly charged and then dropped charges against Watson, siding with poachers, until he left the country. Then they charged Watson again years later in 2006 and decided to abuse international extradition treaties in 2012.

    Of course, from 2007-2011 Costa Rica also received $317 million in Official Development Assistance money from the government of Japan which wants to imprison Watson for interfering with Japanese whale poaching.

    Also, Costa Rica is the sort of country where criminals can brazenly threaten to kill, or actually murder, non-violent activists and get away with it.

    For example, celebrity Gordon Ramsay was held at gun point and doused with gasoline by criminal shark fin smugglers — and the authorities simply advised him to flee the country. More recently, activist Jairo Mora Sandoval was murdered by turtle poachers and his body was dumped on a Costa Rican beach as a message to others.

    The sad reality is environmental activists are brutally assaulted and murdered around the world on a routine basis. Their killers are criminals, poachers, smugglers, industry thugs, and sometimes even corrupt military and police. However, you won’t hear Watson’s critics condemning these murderers as ‘terrorists’.

    It’s because they don’t care. They simply would rather see governments abuse power to suppress eco-activists.

    • Hiroyuki Masanobu

      I can’t say I read through all of that.

      But have you ever considered that every where Paul goes, he ends up a wanted criminal? Think about it.

      He goes to Norway and ends up a wanted criminal. He goes to South America, he ends up a wanted criminal. He goes to Antarctica and ends up a wanted criminal. He sails through the Mediterranean on his way to Europe and ends up a wanted and sued. He gets to Europe, gets arrested and skips bail and ends up a wanted criminal. He goes to the USA to testify in court and ends up a wanted criminal.

      Have you noticed a pattern emerging here?

      And if so, why do you continue to try to discredit the nations which try to bring him to justice? If you’re going to support him, at least admit that he’s a violent thug and a criminal. Everyone knows it anyway.

      • AnimuX

        Illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing is an international problem. Failure of national governments to adhere to international fisheries regulations in good faith is also a problem around the world.

        Watson, though controversial, is not a ‘violent thug’. In over 30 years of activism, Sea Shepherd activists have never beaten people up, never murdered anyone, and never taken anyone hostage for an environmental cause.

        Unfortunately, some would rather demonize non-violent activists by comparing protesters who have never killed anyone to violent ‘terrorists’ who actually murder people.

        • ddpalmer

          Sorry but the Sea Shepherds aren’t non-violent. They claim responsibility for numerous ship sinkings, they launch glass bottles at people, they launch lit flares at other ships, they ram other ships. Go cry your non-violent claim to a blind and deaf crowd and maybe you can get some sympathy.

          • AnimuX

            There’s that pro-whaling capacity for make-believe again. Stink bombs and flares and steel ships touching on the open ocean — none of which is targeting people for harm — is called violence. The reality is these environmental activists have never beaten up, killed, or kidnapped anyone. They are indeed non-violent.

            In contrast, a ‘violent’ group could have sunk every Japanese whaling ship in one season for less than half the cost of one trip to Antarctica. ‘Violent’ groups prove this every day when they blow people up, shoot people, and carry out other actual terrible acts of violence.

            But don’t expect pro-whaling antagonists to stop pretending. They could care less about the truly violent thugs of industry, organized crime, and corrupt governments. They would rather demonize people who want to save the whales.

          • ddpalmer

            There is Animux blatantly lying again. You mean sinking ships isn’t violent? You mean being hit by a glass bottle isn’t violent? Having a shipboard fire due to flare isn’t violent? Having a hole in the ship’s hull isn’t violent? What a bizarre world you must live in.
            I really like the extreme black/white that he sees everywhere. Killing people violent, anything else non-violent. You don’t go to the point of sinking all the ships so you are completely non-violent. LOL! What a joke.
            Then he goes into a rant about all the other things that we should be worried about, with no knowledge of what else we may be doing or saying on those topics. Oh, but don’t make a similar statement about the SSCS, they CAN’T go to Iceland and deal with that whaling, they CAN’T go to Norway and deal with that whaling, they CAN’T go to the Faeroe Islands and use their direct action.
            And please don’t mention Peru where they kill tens of thousands of dolphins and use them as shark bait for shark finning operations (two of SSCS’s supposed big concerns). SSCS CAN’T go there either.
            But anti-whalers are suppose to be everywhere and deal with everything, because Animux the nipotent says so!

          • AnimuX

            There goes ddpalmer, like other pro-whaling antagonists, leaving out so many important details on a mission to demonize protesters.

            Like the way they claim ‘sinking ships’ is violent — without mentioning the fact that people were not onboard. Or that the boats were in port.

            Or make grand exaggerations about hitting people with glass bottles — without mentioning the activists are throwing stink bombs at a boat, not aiming at people — or hitting people for that matter.

            Or the claim that flares were used to set a ship on fire — they were not.

            Or the claim that ships hulls are being pierced — again in an attempt to sink the boat and kill people — which has not happened and is not being attempted.

            These activists who are supposedly ‘violent’ according to exaggerations have never beaten anybody up, never killed anybody, never kidnapped anyone, and never attempted to do such things in over 30 years of activism.

            But don’t let reality get in the way of a good story. Pro-whaling antagonists could care less about actual acts of violence, particularly the fact that eco-activists are regularly murdered all over the world just for speaking out. Unfortunately, Sea Shepherd’s biggest critics would rather see non-violent protesters go to jail (or worse) for saving the whales.

          • ddpalmer

            There goes Animux lying again.
            So sinking a ship with no one onboard isn’t violent? What a joke. And what if they had screwed up and someone had been onboard, like with the French and Greenpeace, or someone had been injured while trying to save the ship? Oh I am sure that wouldn’t be violent either because they didn’t know.

            The ‘activists’ often can’t see the deck of the ship they are throwing at, as they admit in their own videos. So how do they know they aren’t throwing at somebody? Oh wait, that would be another case of ‘We didn’t mean to hit anybody’, right?

            Hey, liar. Where did I claim they set a ship on fire?

            Although there own videos show them setting netting on fire and admitting they have no control over where the flares go. But we didn’t MEAN to hurt anybody so it doesn’t count.

            Hey liar. Where did I say that hulls had been pierced in an attempt to sink a ship?

            Although again we have their own video showing a ship with a hole in the side ofter one of the love taps.
            But don’t let reality get in the way of a good story. Animux could care less about actual facts when lying is so much easier and more fun. Oh and don’t forget to claim that ALL pro-whalers are exactly the same because it makes his lies so much easier than dealing with the truth and individuals.

          • AnimuX

            There goes ddpalmer, like other pro-whaling antagonists, making gross exaggerations to demonize non-violent protesters.

            Getting back to reality:

            Sinking a poacher’s boat in port with no crew on board is not violent.

            Making a poacher’s boat smell bad by throwing stink bombs at it is not violent.

            Tossing a flare out in front of a boat as a distraction is not going to make the boat explode like some Hollywood action movie.

            Pro-whaling antagonists love to embellish. They make up all sorts of fantasy scenarios but the fact remains that these activists have never killed anyone, never beaten anyone up, never taken anyone hostage, and never attempted to do such things in over 30 years of activism.

            The simple fact is these activists don’t target human beings for harm — but the same can’t be said for industry thugs, criminal poachers and smugglers, and even corrupt military and police who regularly murder environmentalists all over the world.

            You won’t see delusional critics like ddpalmer obsessing over the murders of innocent people trying to do some good. Why? They simply don’t care. They want to see non-violent eco-activists go to jail (or worse) just for trying to save the whales.

          • ddpalmer

            There goes Animux lying about what people said and about simple common sense reality.

            Sinking a boat anywhere runs the risk of injuring other people.
            Throwing glass bottles at an occupied ship when you can’t see it’s deck, since it is 10+ feet above you, and not knowing when someone may exit a door onto said deck runs the risk of injury.

            Firing a flare at a ship with flammable material on deck runs the risk of injury.

            Claiming innocence and non-violence because as of yet you have been lucky is false and pathetic. We will just ignore the confession and conviction of one of the crew for injuring a whaler.

            Anti-whalers have to ignore reality an common sense. then bring in a lot of irrelevant BS to try and distract from whet even they know is a pathetic and absurd claim.

            The fact is these activist know they don’t have the ability or control to be even slightly sure that their actions won’t harm others, and they don’t care.

            Of course their supporters will continue to try and divert attention from reality. And make claims of psychic ablities into others beliefs and actions. But it takes very little thought to see that the actions of the activists are dangerous to themselves and others.

          • AnimuX

            There goes ddpalmer again making gross exaggerations, like other pro-whaling antagonists.

            They enjoy fantasizing about environmental activists causing harm to people and pretend as if the fantasy is real.

            However, the reality is the activists they continue to demonize have never targeted people for harm. In over 30 years of activism they’ve never killed anyone, never beaten anyone up, never kidnapped anyone, and never attempted to do such things.
            The same can’t be said for industry thugs, criminal smugglers and poachers, and even corrupt military and police who regularly murder environmental activists.

            But you won’t see ddpalmer and others like him obsessing over actual violent murder of innocent eco-activists. They simply don’t care. Instead, pro-whaling goons like ddpalmer would rather see environmentalists go to jail (or worse) just for trying to save the whales.

          • ddpalmer

            Still waiting for you to show where I “claim that flares were used to set a ship on fire” or where I ” the claim that ships hulls are being pierced — again in an attempt to sink the boat and kill people”.
            I realize as a confirmed liar it is anathema for you to actually support anything you claim. But how about this once you just try and show where I made either of the claims you say I did. It should be easy for someone like you.

    • ddpalmer

      “Of course, from 2007-2011 Costa Rica received $317 million in Official Development Assistance money from the government of Japan”
      And yet they didn’t ask any other country to detain him or seek an Interpol Red Notice until 2012. Thank you for offering proof that Costa Rica’s actions have no relation to Japan.

      • AnimuX

        On the contrary, the ongoing provision of ODA money to Costa Rica is an indicator of influence as well as the timing of Costa Rica’s attempts to grab Watson as Sea Shepherd has become increasingly effective at interrupting Japan’s whale poaching.