Japanese Police raid Rainbow Warrior after peaceful Greenpeace protest
Auckland/Tokyo, 11 May 2000 – The Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior was raided today at 08h10 local time by 50 Japanese Police officers. The Japanese authorities were looking for evidence against the four Greenpeace activists arrested on Tuesday after they had climbed the tower of the world’s tallest incinerator complex in Toshima Ward, in Tokyo, to demand an end to waste incineration. The police made a demand to search the ship thoroughly, including the computer data, the ship’s logbook and the crew’s personal belongings.
“We are appalled by this overreaction from the Japanese authorities. This police action against Greenpeace is totally unwarranted and too heavy- handed. Our protest was non-violent and should not have been met with these repressive acts,” said Captain of the Rainbow Warrior, Joel Stewart. “We will not allow these measures to interfere with our right to peacefully protest against damaging the environment.”
Detention of the four activists, Al Baker (United Kingdom), Marleen van Poeck (Belgium), Clement Lam (Hong Kong/Canada) and Paul Schot (the Netherlands) now continues for the third day. Before the 48 hour investigative detention deadline closes on Thursday afternoon, the activists must be brought into the Tokyo District Prosecutor’s office to hear the charges against them.
“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,” said Sanae Shida, Executive Director of Greenpeace Japan.
The international environmental group emphasized that the action it carried out was intended to highlight both local and global environmental and health implications of burning waste – particularly in areas where the incinerators are located. Japan has the highest levels of dioxin emissions in the world today, as a consequence of having more waste incinerators than any other country in the world. Dioxins are toxic substances created during the incineration process and are linked to liver cancer and other deadly diseases.
For more information: Sanae Shida, Executive Director of Greenpeace Japan: +81-90 2252 95 28; Ayako Sekine, Greenpeace Japan Toxics Campaigner: +81-90-2254-0114; Von Hernandez, Greenpeace Asia Toxics Campaigner:+ 1-90-2254-3326; Susan Yoshimura, Greenpeace Japan Media: +81-90- 8116-9816; Teresa Merilainen, Press Officer Greenpeace International: +31-6250-31001.
Footage and pictures will be available from Greenpeace’s picture desk website: