American dolphin advocate Ric O’Barry has been detained in Japan since he was denied entry into the country on January 18th. He has stated that he is being targeted due to his efforts to save the dolphins from the tragic Taiji hunts. O’Barry faces deportation.
“I’m a political prisoner. I think there are higher-ups in government who are cracking down on those who speak out against their war on dolphins,” O’Barry told Reuters via telephone from an immigration lock-up located close to Tokyo’s Narita airport.
O’Barry and his lawyer state that he is being accused of being dishonest to officials about the nature of his activities during a previous trip to the country.
“Never once have I broken the law, never once have I lied to immigration,” O’Barry said.
The Taiji hunt has become an international concern for animal welfare advocates since the Oscar-winning documentary film The Cove exposed the tragic and bloody dolphin hunts in Taiji.
Ric O’Barry’s wife Helene Hesselager O’Barry has posted a plea for her husband on his Dolphin Project site:
January 25, 2016: “For more than one week, my cheap nba jerseys husband, Ric O’Barry, has been incarcerated in a Japanese detention center, after immigration officials refused to allow him entry into the country. The day started off normal enough, and when he was pulled aside for a “routine” interrogation, he wasn’t overly concerned. Since cheap jerseys the release of “The Cove”, the 2009 Oscar award-winning documentary that exposed the brutal dolphin drives in Taiji, Japan, he has been questioned longer, more aggressively, and often for hours at a time. But nothing like what cheap nba jerseys would transpire that day.”
“I am deeply concerned for him, and every day, am contacted by people from all over the world who want to know how he is, and when he will be released. They are shocked at how he has been treated. Why, they ask, when it’s a well-known fact that O’Barry has been traveling to Japan for years, and has many friends there. It is a country he loves dearly, always speaking about Japan with tremendous respect for its people. And, while wearing his activist “hat,” he always operated fully within Japanese law, making it absolutely clear that his only problem with Japan is the horrendous killing of whales and dolphins that goes on there.”
Various celebrities and friends of O’Barry, including Slash and Matt Sorum of Guns N’ Roses, Montel Williams, and Queen’s Brian May have tweeted in support of Ric’s plight.
U.S. ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, has expressed concern, but has yet to take real action. She recently was photographed with Japanese President Shinzo Abe, which has caused controversy as O’Barry remains detained.
In the past on NBC’s Today Show, Caroline Kennedy stood by a controversial tweet that characterized the dolphin hunt as inhumane. The Japanese government called her tweet hypocritical based upon the cruelty within the American meat industry.
“That was a U.S. policy,” Kennedy stated. “I hope I’m an effective ambassador, and sometimes that means working behind the scenes and sometimes that means speaking out.”
Please CONTACT and politely urge Caroline to take stronger action against the hunts and let her know that the world is behind her and supports tough sanctions against Japan in order to put an END to the annual slaughter. Also, let her know that Ric O’Barry should be released right away and that this is an URGENT matter. He should not be deported.
Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420 JAPAN
From the U.S:
Bobby Shriver @bobbyshriver
SIGN these PETITIONS:
Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project
Main Photo: Scott London
See more at: World Animal News