Paul Watson, founder of the environmental organization Sea Shepherd, was arrested at Frankfurt Airport, Germany on 12 May, pending extradition to Costa Rica. This was carried out due to a warrant that had been issued in Costa Rica relating to events in Guatemalan waters in 2002 when Watson’s boat, the Farley Mowat, encountered an illegal shark-finning operation run by a Costa Rican ship, the Varadero. Crew on the Varadero accused Watson of attempting to ram their boat and Watson was charged by Costa Rican authorities with attempted murder. The events were captured on video, and subsequently formed a part of the film Sharkwater.
This video evidence led to the charges being dropped, however it would seem that they have been re-investigated by a newly appointed prosecutor, and this has led to the arrest. Support for the campaigner has flooding in, and an online petition has been set up to call for his release. UPDATE. It looks like Germany will extradite Paul Watson to Costa Rica. Sea Shepherd are calling for people to contact the German authorities and ask them not to do so.
Urgent Call to Sea Shepherd Supporters - Help Save Captain Watson from Extradition to Costa Rica!
In shocking news, German officials have decided to proceed with the extradition of Captain Watson to Costa Rica. Our last hope of saving Captain Watson from extradition is to convince German officials at the Ministry of Justice to step in and overturn their decision. Show your support for Captain Watson by contacting Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the Federal Minister of Justice in Berlin, Germany. Let her know that the warrant for Captain Watson’s arrest is politically motivated and thus should be ignored by the German government. With international support we can set Captain Watson free, and keep him from the possibility of facing an unfair trial in Costa Rica.
Please contact: (Please be respectful in your communications)
Federal Minister of Justice
Platz der Republik
Telephone 030 - 227 751 62
Fax 030 - 227 764 02
Federal Ministry of Justice
10117 Berlin, Germany
Telephone: +49 (030) 18 580-0
Telefax: +49 (030) 18 580-9525
Dear Ms Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger,
I was very concerned to hear that Germany has detained Sea Shepherd’s Captain Paul Watson for possible extradition to Costa Rica. I understand that the warrant for Captain Watson’s arrest is politically motivated and possibly due to an incident in which Sea Shepherd uncovered an illegal shark finning operation.
I support Sea Shepherd’s efforts to monitor and publicise illegal fishing and whaling around the world and recognize that some illegal fishing operations try to use international law to shut down the Sea Shepherd operations. I urge you to consider the valuable work Captain Watson and Sea Shepherd are undertaking globally to highlight the dangers to our oceans in considering this extradition request.