PROSECUTING THE INNOCENT
In July 2008, two Greenpeace activists in Japan carried out an investigation into illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. They eventually intercepted one of nearly one hundred boxes destined for private addresses offloaded from one the ships. It ostensibly contained cardboard. It in fact contained 23.5 kg of whale meat. They immediately turned over this and supporting documentary evidence to the Tokyo District Prosecutor for the purposes of initiating an investigation. Although an investigation did ensue, it was abruptly halted and the two activists arrested the same day and charged with trespass and theft. They were detained for almost a month. The prosecution is now asking that they be jailed a further 18 months.
All prosecutions must be carried out in the public interest. Rather than hail the efforts of these two Greenpeace activists who sought to expose corruption in the whaling industry, the prosecution has joined hands with this same industry to compound the injustice. This is wrong, and should be denounced.