When two of our activists were detained after exposing major corruption in the Japanese whaling industry - we knew the Japanese authorities breached internationally guaranteed human rights. Now, as these two activists prepare to take the stand and have their day, or more in court, the violation of their human rights has been confirmed by a UN working group.
Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki, known as the “Tokyo Two”, are due to stand trial on February 15th - charged for theft and trespass. But over the past two years it has become clear that much more is now under the legal spotlight. Corrupt government practices, censoring public information, Japan’s adherence to international law, freedom of speech and the right of individual protest together with the commercial killing of thousands of whales are all under the spotlight. And before the verdict has even been rendered, a working group of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has already ruled that, in the defendants' attempts to expose a scandal in the public interest, their human rights have been breached by the Japanese justice system.