[FIRST on news.BDTV.in] Interpol issues red corner notice for Paul Watson at Japan's request

Saturday, September 15, 2012
Paul Watson
Lyon: INTERPOL has published a Red Notice, or international wanted persons alert, for Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society at the request of Japanese authorities.

Watson is sought for prosecution by Japan on charges of ‘Breaking into the Vessel, Damage to Property, Forcible Obstruction of Business, and Injury’ in relation to two incidents that took place on the Antarctic Ocean in February 2010 against a Japanese whaling ship.

The Red Notice for the 61-year-old Canadian has been circulated to all 190 INTERPOL member following its publication on 14 September and is in addition to the Red Notice issued at the request of Costa Rica on Tuesday 7 August in connection with separate alleged offences.

A Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant. A Red Notice status is a request for any country to identify or locate an individual with a view to their provisional arrest and extradition in accordance with the country’s national laws. INTERPOL cannot compel any of its 190 member countries to arrest the subject of a Red Notice.

Any individual who is subject to an INTERPOL Red Notice should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Additional enquiries in relation to the Red Notices for Paul Watson should be directed to the national authorities of the requesting countries, Costa Rica and Japan.

Notably, Paul Watson is an animal rights and environmental activist, who founded and is president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a direct action group devoted to marine conservation.

The Toronto native joined a Sierra Club protest against nuclear testing in 1969. He was an early and influential member of Greenpeace, crewed and skippered for it, and later was a board member. Watson argued for a strategy of direct action that conflicted with the Greenpeace interpretation of nonviolence, was ousted from the board in 1977, and subsequently left the organization. That same year, he formed Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. 

The group is the subject of a reality show, Whale Wars, broadcasted on Discovery Channel.

Watson's activities have led to legal action from authorities in countries including Canada, Norway, Costa Rica, and now Japan.
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