TOKYO – The Japanese Ministry of Justice has denied an appeal from Dolphin Project Founder/Director Ric O’Barry to enter the country, three days since he was placed in a deportee’s facility at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. Immigration officers have also issued an order of departure for January 21. O’Barry has refused to leave, vowing to fight the deportation order.
Expounding on their premise that his tourist status wasn’t able to be “fully proven,” immigration officials accused O’Barry of making false claims on his Facebook page. They also took issue with him attending an independent event in Tokyo for Japan Dolphins Day on August 29, 2015, when, during one of his regular interrogations, he told immigration officials he would not attend.
The Japanese government is cracking down on those who oppose their war on dolphins.I’m incarcerated on trumped-up charges, just like in Taiji last August. For the past 72 hours, I have been behind bars in a detention facility, yet I have broken no laws.- says Ric O’Barry, through his son, Lincoln O’Barry.
O’Barry was initially refused admittance into Japan, when, on Monday, January 18, he was detained by Japanese immigration officials upon flying into Tokyo. O’Barry was repeatedly interrogated and placed in a deportees’ facility, similar to a jail, where he has been held behind bars ever since. He has not received proper nourishment, his only food coming from the airport’s 7 Eleven convenience store, and sleep has been minimal at best.
O’Barry is no stranger to two hour interrogations. Since the 2009 release of the Academy award-winning documentary “The Cove,” he is regularly detained for questioning every time he visits Japan. The country’s harassment of him escalated when O’Barry, also last August, was arrested for allegedly not carrying a passport. After spending a night in jail, all charges against him were dropped when police discovered the passport in the car O’Barry was driving. But nothing of this magnitude has ever happened before.
Dolphin Project’s legal team, represented by The Law Offices of Takashi Takano, has initiated a formal administrative suit and injunction of the deportation warrant. Should O’Barry voluntarily leave the country, he would be banned from entry for a minimum of five years. For a man who has travelled to Taiji for 13 years, exposing the brutal dolphin drives taking place there, this option was unacceptable. With a formal deportation process now in place, O’Barry will be transported to a detention center near the airport. We cannot let Japan hide what happens in Taiji. The world is watching.
Satoshi Komiyama is comforted by Ric O’Barry. He broke down after hearing the dolphins cries of panic & fear. – M. Thompson Esaia
Please visit DolphinProject.net for updates. – Source: Dolphin Project
And so the fight begins… This could be one of the most important fights for activists in Japan. Ric is probably the toughest one to get kicked out of the country, mainly because of his constant praise of the Japanese people and their culture as well as his strict policy for all of us not breaking any Japanese laws. He has been going to Taiji consistently every year, longer than anyone or group has and always is granted entry. If Ric falls, it paves the path for all activists to be refused entry even though they have not broken any laws. What most do not understand, this is not a nation fighting for its culture, this is a very small select group of men using influence to benefit there own pockets at the expense of Japanese culture and people. The hunters are pawns in this game as well. What these few men are not expecting…Ric’s POD will rise! – Tim Burns – Dolphin Project