Target: Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, German Federal Minister of Justice
Goal: To save anti-whaling activist and Sea Shepherd president Paul Watson from extradition to Costa Rica
Paul Watson, a veteran anti-whaling activist and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, was recently arrested in Germany on charges pertaining to a confrontation with illegal shark poachers that occurred in Guatemalan waters in 2002. Frankfurt’s Higher Regional Court has decided that an extradition will be permissible under German law but has announced that the decision of whether to extradite Watson from Germany to Costa Rica will ultimately fall under the discretion of Germany’s Federal Justice Ministry.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is actively protesting the extradition of their president by arguing that the charges are politically motivated and that the decision to send Watson to Costa Rica would place him in serious danger. By expressing our support for Sea Shepherd’s position and calling for the release of Captain Watson, we will uphold his longstanding efforts to expose and monitor illegal fishing and whaling operations around the world.
After the incident in 2002 when Sea Shepherd encountered a ship engaging in illegal shark finning practices, Watson was accused of trying to ram the ship and kill its crew. However, the release of video footage of the incident shot by the documentary team on board Watson’s ship resulted in the prosecution’s decision to drop the charges. The same charges were reinstated in October 2011, which led to the arrest and detention of Watson by German law enforcement.
The Japanese whaling industry simultaneously initiated a civil suit against Sea Shepherd in the US last October. The timing of the two events suggests a correlation that cannot be ignored. It forms the basis for Sea Shepherd’s claims that Watson’s arrest and possible extradition are politically motivated. By signing the petition below, you will help to defend Sea Shepherd against the influence of the whaling industry and to uphold Captain Watson’s mission to reduce illegal fishing practices worldwide. Urging the German Ministry of Justice to reconsider Watson’s extradition is the first step toward ensuring that his longtime efforts do not go unnoticed.
Dear Minister Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger,
I am writing to call to your attention the circumstances surrounding the recent arrest and detention of Sea Shepherd’s president Paul Watson by German law enforcement. The Japanese whaling industry’s simultaneous initiation of a civil suit against Sea Shepherd in the US suggests that political motivations are at play in Costa Rica’s request for extradition.
The decision to extradite Captain Watson to Costa Rica will place him in a dangerous position and will establish the ability of the whaling industry to influence the process of international law enforcement. In addition to such implications, I ask you to consider the valuable work that Captain Watson has pursued in the past as you address the extradition request.
[Your Name Here]