Jessie Treverton - the U.K-based Captain and Cove Guardian leader for Sea Shepherd's fight against the slaughter and capture of dolphins - was denied entry to Japan today.
Treverton was previously documenting and defending the dolphins in Taiji, Japan, since September as part of Sea Shepherd's Operation Infinite Patience campaign. She left Japan in late November to attend a previous commitment in the Danish Faroe Islands.
Upon her return to Japan today, Treverton was stopped at the immigration center at Osaka Kansai airport where she was questioned, searched and denied entry to the country.
She is now being detained in a holding cell pending an appeal which, in some cases, could take up to 10 days.
"During her time in Taiji this fall, Jessie developed a good relationship with the local police," said Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson. "She did not break any rules and was always polite. Despite her respectful conduct, and her rapport with the Taiji police, she was still denied entry. The policy in Japan appears to be that if any Sea Shepherd person witnesses the atrocities against the dolphins they will be denied future entry to the country."
"It is clear to me the Japanese government are denying my entry in an attempt to conceal the truth of the horrific Taiji dolphin massacre from the Japanese people and the world," said Treverton.
Denial of entry to all Cove Guardian veterans has become a Japanese immigration policy. It is believed to be politically motivated since Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians have never broken any Japanese laws nor disrupted any activities of Japanese citizens. Their only weapon is the camera, which documents the atrocities that occur in Taiji's infamous Cove. It is precisely the camera that the Japanese government wants to ban from the Cove to keep the slaughter of dolphins out of sight with the hope that it will soon be out of mind.
The annual slaughter of dolphins in Japan takes place between September 1st and March 1st every year. During these six months Sea Shepherd maintains a presence in Taiji with its Cove Guardian volunteers.
Treverton will be appealing her entry denial to the Japanese courts and will be requesting that the British government solicit an official justification for detaining a British citizen who has not committed a crime, and preventing her entry into Japan.
U.K.- based Eleanor Lister has taken over as Cove Guardian leader. Treverton stepped down when she returned to the Faroe Islands to defend her actions in protecting dolphins and pilot whales. It was an important appearance to make because the Faroese court case established the principle that driving dolphins and pilot whales onto the shore is a violation of Danish law pertaining to cruelty to animals.