Govt pressured to help activists

THE Federal Government is under pressure to take swift action to secure the release of three Australian activists detained aboard a Japanese whaling security ship.

But the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, has conceded the men could be taken to Japan to face legal action.

The West Australian men from the Forest Rescue environmental group boarded the Japanese security vessel Shonan Maru No.2 in waters off Bunbury overnight on Saturday. Their aim was to force the vessel to stop tailing the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's flagship, the Steve Irwin.

To board the ship they had to climb past razor wire and spikes, which make up part of the vessel's multimillion-dollar defences. But last night the Shonan Maru No.2 was continuing its pursuit of the Steve Irwin with the Australians still on board.

A spokesman for the Japanese whaling program at the Institute of Cetacean Research, Glenn Inwood, confirmed the men were still aboard the vessel. ''They are unhurt. They are being questioned and there has been no decision on anything beyond that at this stage,'' the New Zealand-based Mr Inwood said.

Read more on the Brisbane Times


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