Online Visual Petition Begins July 9; Day of Action To Be Held July 20
Sea Shepherds around the world, unite! We need your help! It is now Day 58 of Captain Watson’s detainment in Germany. To protest Captain Watson’s pending extradition and urge his release, Sea Shepherd is calling upon its supporters the world over to participate in an Online Visual Petition and Day of Action. We want you to visually answer one of the following questions: “Why is Captain Paul Watson important to our planet?” or “Why does Sea Shepherd matter to you?” Please submit a photo, illustration, artwork or any other image in response to one of these questions. You may include a caption on your image, if you like. You may upload your images to Sea Shepherd’s Flickr account group starting on July 9. Or you can send them to [email protected] with the subject line: “Free Captain Watson Image” and we will upload them for you. One entry per person. Deadline for receipt of all entries is July 20. All images will become the property of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. First and second place winners will be chosen by Captain Paul Watson and two celebrity judges. Winners will be announced July 27th. Winners will receive a T-shirt featuring the insignia for Sea Shepherd's new Shark Defense Campaign, "Operation Requiem," and a Sea Shepherd Jolly Roger cap.
In connection with this Online Visual Petition, supporters will be encouraged to gather in a Day of Action on Friday, July 20th to share their images at German consulates and embassies around the world as well as other gathering places such as parks and private homes while holding a vigil or rally for Captain Watson’s release. Captain Watson needs our help! Please help us fight these extradition proceedings and bring him home.
In the meantime, please continue to call, write and fax the German Ministry of Justice and politely demand Captain Watson’s release. Show your support for Captain Watson by contacting Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the Federal Minister of Justice in Berlin, Germany. She has the power to set him free! Tell her the warrant for Captain Watson's arrest is politically motivated and should be dismissed. With continued international pressure, we can free Captain Watson and keep him from the possibility of facing an unfair trial — or worse — 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
E-Mail: [email protected]
Federal Ministry of Justice
10117 Berlin, Germany
Telephone: +49 (030) 18 580-0
Telefax: +49 (030) 18 580-9525
Dr. Guido Westerwelle
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Platz der Republik 1
Tel.: 030 / 22771636
Fax: 030 / 22776562
E-Mail: [email protected]
Why is Captain Watson Being Held in Germany Awaiting Extradition?
Captain Paul Watson was arrested in Frankfurt on May 13th on a 10-year-old warrant from Costa Rica while en route to Cannes, France. He is being detained in Germany for extradition to Costa Rica for an alleged “violation of ships’ traffic,” which occurred during the 2002 filming of the award-winning documentary, “Sharkwater.” The specific incident took place on the high seas in Guatemalan waters, when Sea Shepherd encountered an illegal shark-finning operation run by Costa Rican vessel, the Varadero. On order of Guatemalan authorities, Sea Shepherd instructed the crew of the Varadero to cease their shark-finning activities and head back to port to be prosecuted. While escorting the Varadero back to port, the tables were turned and a Guatemalan gunboat was dispatched to intercept the Sea Shepherd crew. To avoid the Guatemalan gunboat, Sea Shepherd then set sail for Costa Rica, where we uncovered even more illegal shark-finning activities in the form of dried shark fins by the thousands on the roofs of industrial buildings.
It's time for the US to try to secure the release of one of its citizens.
Contact the following US government officials to urge Captain Watson’s pending extradition be denied and request his release (please be respectful in your communications):
I am very concerned to hear that Germany continues to detain Sea Shepherd's Captain Paul Watson, a citizen of the United States, and is planning to extradite him to Costa Rica on an alleged 2002 ship traffic violation. I understand that the warrant for Captain Watson's arrest is politically motivated, was dismissed by Interpol (Germany ignored the dismissal), and is possibly due to an incident in which Sea Shepherd uncovered an illegal shark-finning operation. I also understand there is a bounty on Captain Watson’s head in Costa Rica by the Taiwanese shark-finning mafia. If he is extradited there, his safety will be at grave risk.
I support Sea Shepherd's efforts to monitor and publicize illegal fishing and whaling activities around the world and recognize that some illegal fishing operations will stop at nothing to shut down Sea Shepherd’s operations. I urge you to consider the valuable work Captain Watson and Sea Shepherd are undertaking globally to highlight the countless dangers to our oceans and please step in diplomatically to help secure his freedom.