On December 16, 2011 Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian Erwin Vermeulen became the first ever Cove Guardian to be arrested in Taiji— and under false allegations.
Erwin was doing his planetary duties in Taiji (protesting the dolphin drive hunt slaughter) on this day, taking photographs and documenting the transfer of Risso Dolphins from sea pens to the Dolphin Resort Hotel when an employee falsely accused him of shoving/pushing him. With Japanese police already running a thin line with patience for Sea Shepherd, it was not hesitated that this accusation act be punished. He is currently being contained at Shingu Police Station without being allowed a lawyer or visitation rights. This can happen for up to 28 days.
From Sea Shepherd,
“The arrest seemed pre-planned. No witnesses saw Erwin shove the employee and Erwin was not even questioned. The police simply approached him and took him away. Out of compassion for the dolphins being slaughtered in Taiji, Erwin Vermeulen travelled to Japan at his own expense to devote his time and energy to the Cove Guardian mission.”
Earlier this year a woman Cove Guardian (Rosie Kunneke) was assaulted by a fisherman and her assailant was quickly questioned and released— a new definition to double standard in my book.
Sea Shepherd takes every precaution they can to not break any laws or commit any crimes. Erwin did not break any laws, police just up and arrested him without questioning him and without any witnesses of the alleged shove. Erwin was taking pictures out of compassion for another life, at his own expense. The Cove Guardians will not back down.