Friday, February 12, 2010

Fair Trial for the Tokyo Two

Two years ago, two Greenpeace activists revealed that crew members working for the Japanese whaling fleet were illegally stealing whale meat and selling it. The activists found out about the illegal sales and managed to obtain some of the meat, which they promptly turned over to the authorities. Instead of being rewarded for exposing the crime, however, they were charged with trespassing and theft after being detained without charge for three weeks. And now the UN is condemning their detention. Greenpeace asked people to sign a petition to the Japanese government asking for assurances that the activists, Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki, will get a fair trial. Over 3000 people signed the petition, which notes that the defense has not had access to all the evidence obtained by the prosecution, which violates Sato and Suzuki's rights to a fair trial.

Let's hope this manner is resolved fairly. Japan may not care about what the international community thinks of its whaling program, but is it really so concerned with its image that it doesn't care that crew members might be stealing whale meat? Sato and Suzuki aren't the real criminals here. After all, it is alleged that the cuts of meat stolen were the more valuable ones, and with the Japanese government having to subsidize the whaling program (even though the meat is sold after the "research" is done), it seems they should be mad at the crew, not Greenpeace.

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