Subject: [cwj 15] Japanese police raid Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior ship
From: Amit Srivastava <>
Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 13:09:40 -0700
Seq: 15

Thursday, May 11 3:42 PM SGT 

Japanese police raid Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior ship

TOKYO, May 11 (AFP) - 

Dozens of Japanese police raided the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in
Tokyo harbour on Thursday, two days after arresting four of its protesters
for trespassing.

"This morning they raided the Rainbow Warrior and they are still here,"
said Greenpeace campaigner Von Hernandez.

"They went through our computer files, databases and searched our personal
cabins," he added. "It is totally outrageous and totally unwarranted given
the minor charge of trespassing."

Meanwhile other officers searched Greenpeace's Japanese headquarters in Tokyo.

Police said a total of 40 officers were involved in the Rainbow Warrior
search while another five officers were dispatched to the environmental
group's headquarters.

Officers planned to remove documents from the 555-tonne
Netherlands-registered Rainbow Warrior, which sailed in for maintenance on
May 5 after an Asian anti-pollution campaign, said Hernandez.

They seized information and campaign handouts together with office
decuments during a three and a half hour search of the Greenpeace
headquarters, the group said in a statement.

Police on Tuesday arrested four Greenpeace members -- three men and one
woman -- after they unfurled a banner from the Health Plaza Toshiba
building in Tokyo, which sits adjacent to an incinerator, to protest
against dioxin emissions from the burning of rubbish.

Dioxins, which can be emitted from waste incinerators, form a highly toxic
chemical compound that has been linked to a variety of cancers and
congenital birth defects.

The climbers, Briton Alan Baker, 35, Belgian Marleen Vanpoelk, 30,
Chinese-Canadian Clement Lam, 32, and Dutchman Paul Schot, 30, were sent
for questioning by prosecutors on Thursday.

Police decided to raid the Rainbow Warrior after one of the activitsts
admitted that their demonstration had been planned aboard the ship, said a
district police spokesman.

Greenpeace fiercely protested against the action.

"We are appalled by this over-reaction from the Japanese authorities," said
Rainbow Warrior captain Joel Stewart.

"We will not allow these measures to interfere with our right to peacefully
protest against damaging the environment," he said in a statement.

Greenpeace Japan director Sanae Shida said the police action threatened the
right to protest.

"If every public protest continues to be met with such a strong reaction
from the police and from the government in Japan, there is a real danger
that it prevents the public from demanding accountability for crimes
committed against the environment," she said in the statement.

In March 1999, Japanese authorities triggered world-wide protests when they
held three Greenpeace demonstrators for 11 days after they unfurled a
banner protesting against the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in toys at
the Tokyo Toy Fair.
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