Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown has again called on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to intervene on behalf of captive Sea Shepherd captain Pete Bethune who has been captive onboard on Japanese whaler since last month.
According to news reports, Captain Bethune was arrested by Japanese authorities when the Shonan Maru 2 arrived back in Tokyo today.
"Captain Bethune was arrested defending whales in the Southern Ocean and Australian waters and the Prime Minister should intervene on his behalf," said Senator Brown.
This week in Parliament the Government and the Opposition both opposed a Greens Senate motion to shine the light on Japanese pressure on Australia to protect the whale poachers in the Southern Ocean.
"My motion called for scrutiny of documents about the Australian Federal Police's search of the Sea Shepherd ships the Steve Irwin and Bob Barker to expose the pressure Japan is trying to apply behind closed doors to protect its annual whale slaughter," said Senator Brown.
"I will now request the documents through a freedom of information application. The last time I put in an application for whaling documents I was told they couldn't be released because it would upset Tokyo. I hope the relevant departments will be more mature this time around.
Senators Xenophon and Fielding voted for the Green's motion:
*732 Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown): To move-That there
be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Prime Minister, the Minister
representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister representing the
Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts and the Minister
representing the Minister for Home Affairs, no later than 15 March 2010, any
documents relating to the Australian Federal Police's search of the Sea Shepherd
Conservation Society ships Bob Barker and Steve Irwin in Hobart on Saturday,
6 March 2010, including, but not limited to, correspondence, whether written or in
email form, briefing papers and/or memoranda.
Media contact: Erin Farley 0438 376 082