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Our Friend, Norway nails Watson

In deference to the outstanding contribution Norway has made to the Free
Burma movement, with an objectivity for freedom and fairness, 
we pass this on. draw your own conclusions, but euroburmanet is sternly
against norway's killing of whales. don't they have enough oil, and
profits already? Makes you wonder what Suu Kyi might have to say about
whales, and norways whaling policy...but understandably she has other
more pressing priorities now. whales are cool, killing them is not.

dawn star, paris

EnviroNews Service wrote:
> This news story is from the Environment News Service:
> http://www.envirolink.org/environews/ens/
> ---
> MARINA DEL REY, California, Apr. 30, 1997 (ENS) - The Norwegian government
> has filed new charges against Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson in addition
> to the demand for his extradition to Norway from the Netherlands. Watson is
> being held in Lelystad Penitentiary awaiting an extradition hearing. His
> application for bail was denied. The case will be heard on May 26 at the
> Haarlem Court.
> Norway wants Watson extradited to serve a sentence of 120 days in jail
> imposed when he was tried "in absentia," that is while he was not present.
> The case involved the scuttling of a Norwegian whaling ship at port in the
> Lofoten Islands in 1992.
> Three additional charges have now been filed by the Norwegian government.
> They all relate to the 1994 encounter between the Sea Shepherd vessel,
> Whales Forever, and the Norwegian Coast Guard ship, the Andenes.
> The Norwegians allege, "...that the Whales Forever has navigated in such a
> manner that another ship has been damaged or has been endangered."
> Norway has charged Watson with, "...violation of the regulations regarding
> the entry to Norwegian territory in peacetime of alien and non-military
> ships;" and,  "...violation of the regulations regarding distress-signals
> and other emergency-signals."
> Watson maintains that the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel rammed his unarmed
> ship. At least 10 journalists were aboard the Whales Forever, and Watson
> claims that their video footage will show that the Norwegian ship was the
> one at fault in the incident. The Sea Shepherd says these journalists are
> willing to testify in court in Watson's defence. The Norwegians also have
> video of the incident showing the Sea Shepherd ship to be at fault which is
> often shown on Norwegian TV. Sea Shepherd claims the Norwegian video is
> heavily edited.
> The Sea Shepherd position is that Watson is being held responsible for the
> actions of the Norwegian government, embarrassed at the failure to take him
> into custody when the Coast Guard ship confronted Whales Forever in
> international waters off their coast.
> Just where the incident occurred is at issue. The Norwegians charge it took
> place in Norwegian waters, while the Sea Shepherd statements consistently
> say Whales Forever never entered Norwegian waters.
> In prison Watson views this as a critical time to focus attention on
> Norway's continued "illegal" whaling activities. He uses the word "illegal"
> not with regard to Norwegian laws, but in terms of the International
> Whaling Commission (IWC). Norway is not a member of the IWC, which has
> imposed a global ban on commercial whaling since 1986.
> Watson, an early Greenpeace organizer in Vancouver, British Columbia in
> 1971, has actively opposed Norway's commercial whaling operations since
> 1992. Widely distributed photographs of him from 1976 show him as a
> Greenpeacer confronting Russian whaling vessels in a small inflatable raft,
> the first action of this now popular type of protest.
> Watson is a Canadian citizen whose past marine mammal protection campaigns
> include seal hunt protests off the coast of Newfoundland in the 1970s and
> early 1980s during which he popularized the spraying of baby whitecoat
> seals with green paint to make their pelts worthless. He takes credit for
> the sinking of Spanish and Portugese whalers, has fought to save dolphins
> in Japan, the Caribbean, and the United States, and has worked against
> driftnet fishing in all the oceans of the world. He ran for mayor of
> Vancouver last year, but lost to the incumbent.
> Watson was arrested by Dutch authorities at Schiphol Airport April 2 on an
> Interpol warrant from Norway. He had been released after a hearing by
> German authorities on the same warrant three days earlier. Watson was
> arrested March 31 by the Germans in the port of Bremerhaven while
> supervising the transfer of the newest Sea Shepherd vessel in preparation
> for a campaign against drift netting in the Mediterranean.
> The Sea Shepherd home office in Marina del Rey has mounted an international
> campaign to pressure the Dutch government to release Watson. His wife and
> the organization's International Director Lisa Distefano fears that he will
> not get a fair trial in Norway, and that he will be killed in a Norwegian
> prison. "Paul has received specific death threats from Norwegians for
> years," says Distefano. "If Paul is imprisoned in Norway, we know he'll
> never leave alive."
> Watson supporters have been demonstrating in various places around the the
> world since he was jailed. On April 16 A demonstration was held at both The
> Ministry of Justice and the Norwegian Consulate, The Hague.
> In Montreal on April 15 a demonstration took place at the Dutch consulate.
> That day in Los Angeles a stellar group of Hollywood notables held a news
> conference in Watson's support.
> On April 14 in Stockholm a group demonstrated at the Dutch Embassy. In
> Toronto, on the 14th, more than 100 demonstrators gathered at Toronto
> Ryerson Rink, and took part in a protest march. On April 5 Toronto Police
> sealed off a downtown city block where 100 demonstrators chanted "Free Paul
> Watson!"
> On April 10 in New York Watson supporters walked from the Dutch Consulate
> to the Norwegian Consulate.
> Norwegian newspapers report that in the event of Watson's extradition, the
> Norwegian military will seek compensation for the damages caused
> to the Coast Guard cutter Andenes in the collision with Sea Shepherd's
> Whales Forever. Johan Wroldsen, chief of the legal office of the military
> high command, estimates damages at 1 million kroner, including interest.
> ---
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