Thank you. 20,000 signatures in just three days is a good start. I need your help to send a strong message to the Costa Rican government that the continued pursuit of the bogus charge against me needs to stop; this is a politically-motivated charge.
In 2002, at the request of Guatemalan authorities, Sea Shepherd stopped an illegal shark-finning operation by a Costa Rican-flagged fishing boat well inside the territorial waters of Guatemala. The boat was not damaged and no one was hurt. The entire confrontation was filmed by Rob Stewart as he was making the film Sharkwater.
The Sea Shepherd vessel Farley Mowat had two independent film crews and 35 crewmembers onboard as witnesses. The fishing boat with eight fishermen and without cameras presented no evidence backing up their charges. When I arrived in Costa Rica, I was charged with eight counts of attempted murder. We presented our witnesses and our video evidence to the court. The charges were dismissed and I was given clearance to depart from Costa Rican waters; I did so, and heard nothing more about this incident until 10 years later, when I landed in Germany in 2012. There, in Frankfurt, I was detained on a Costa Rican warrant for the charge of alleged "shipwreck endangerment."
No one was injured nor was property damaged, and yet Japan and Costa Rica managed to place me on the INTERPOL Red List - a list meant for serial killers and war criminals. Japan wants me for alleged "conspiracy to trespass on a whaling ship."
The government's own charge contradicts itself; the official accusation states that the incident took place in international waters, yet the same accusation gives the exact coordinates at which the incident took place, and that position is well within the territorial waters of Costa Rica.
You have to wonder why a government that conveniently lost the evidence for the trial of the narco-poacher killers of sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval is spending so much money and making such an effort to imprison me for saving sharks from poachers?
If you have not already done so, please take a few moments to sign and share the petition at the link below for me, provided in both English and Spanish. It will be presented to the government of Costa Rica.
Thank you, Merci, Gracias and Mahalo.
- Captain Paul Watson
Please sign and share the petition here.