Sea Shepherd demands release of Dutch activist

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The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has launched a campaign to obtain the immediate release of one of its activists, a Dutchman, arrested in Japan ten days ago.

The anti-whaling organisation urges visitors to its facebook account to make calls and write letters to the Japanese foreign ministry and other authorites. 

According to Sea Shepherd, the Dutchman, a volunteer named Erwin Vermeulen, is still in Shingu City Police custody. He was arrested on 16 December when attempting to film the transfer of dolphins from the sea to holding pens at the Japanese resort of Tajii.   An employee claims that Erwin pushed him; there were no other witnesses to this allegation. The organisation says a decision to release him or continue to keep him in jail is expected on 27 December.    Every year, Tajii is the scene of a massive dolphin hunt, with the Japanese authorities issuing 23,000 licenses to coastal areas for dolphin slaughter. Some animals are sold to aquariums worldwide.   Vermeulen had travelled to Japan at his own expense to collect footage of the slaughter.      

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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