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Free The Whale-Defender; Put Whaling On Trial

Free The Whale-Defender; Put Whaling On Trial Instead

New Zealand authorities must do everything they can to bring whale-defender Peter Bethune back home, the Green Party said today.

“The New Zealand Government must pull out all stops to get Pete Bethune freed from the Japanese authorities,” said Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei.

Mrs Turei joined Australian Green Party leader Dr Bob Brown in vowing to back an international campaign to free Mr Bethune.

“We want our boy back home as soon as possible,” Mrs Turei said.

New Zealander Peter Bethune is under arrest for trespass in Japan after boarding a Japanese whaling vessel to perform a citizen’s arrest on the captain for illegally whaling.

“New Zealanders oppose whaling in the Southern Ocean,” said Mrs Turei. “Mr Bethune is a Kiwi who has actively defended the whales, and has successfully brought the needless slaughter to the world’s attention.”

“New Zealand should join Australia in taking a tough stance against the continued killing of these magnificent creatures. Unfortunately, our Government is sending the opposite message right now.

“It should be the Japanese whaling programme on trial; not Pete Bethune, a Kiwi standing up for what he believes in and for what New Zealanders strongly oppose.

“The Japanese are acting illegally by slaughtering whales in increasingly high numbers for commercial purposes, while pretending it is just research.

“The Green Party is committed to finding ways to end the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean. Legitimising commercial whaling will not achieve this, but a legal challenge to the International Court of Justice, as Australia is proposing, offers some hope.

“The National-led Government’s support for a compromise that would see commercial whaling legalised is wrong in principle and ultimately destined to fail.”

ENDS

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