Some 14 members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society arrested on Saturday for attempting to prevent the slaughter of a pod of 33 pilot whales, who were then released from detention on Sunday, will face charges in the Faroe Islands.
The Royal Danish Navy assisted Faroese police in the arrest of the activists and went on to seize the three boats they used – Loki, the Mike Galesi, and the BS Sheen – under the claim that they will be used as evidence.
Detained in Tórshavn
After the arrest, Danish authorities flew the activists to the capital Tórshavn, where they were detained for about 24 hours until their release yesterday.
The first six of the activists, who composed the ‘land team’, appeared in court today – still no word on the verdict – while the remaining eight will be tried on September 25.
Denmark under pressure
Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson, who holds Denmark responsible for allowing the slaughter to continue, suggests that the arrested activists are not the true criminals.
“They are not criminals, but heroes," he told the Sea Shepherd newssite.
"It is Denmark, an ‘anti-whaling’ EU member nation, that has acted in blatant defiance of the law by protecting this heinous massacre of whales."
Criticism of the slaughter seems to be coming from all angles, with this particular episode catching the attention of American actor Charlie Sheen, who sponsored one of the boats that was seized by the Danish authorities.
"The Faroese whalers brutally slaughtered an entire pod of 33 pilot whales today – several generations taken from the sea – and Denmark is complicit in the killing," Sheen said in a statement over the weekend.
CORRECTION: In previous articles, the Copenhagen Post has erroneously stated that 'the Grind' takes place every year and climaxes in October. The Grind, which is not annual, is dependent on there being enough whales. This year's Grind started in June and is expected to continue until the end of the month. We apologise for the misinformation.