Luxembourg activist found guilty in Faroe Islands whaling case
A Faroe Islands court on Friday found Luxembourg's Kevin Schiltz from the militant conservation group Sea Shepherd, guilty of disrupting the region's traditional whale hunt, along with four other activists.
The five were arrested on July 23 in the Faroe Islands as they attempted to stop and document the annual pilot whale cull.
The court found Kevin Schiltz of Luxembourg, Marianne Baldo of Italy, Christophe Bondue of Belgium, Xavier Figarella of France and Rosie Kunneke of South Africa guilty of contravening the Faroese Pilot Whale Act.
"We are immediately appealing the verdict and the sentences," said activist Rosie Kunneke by telephone from the Faroese capital Torshavn.
Video above show Kevin Schiltz confronting a Faroese policeman, part of a news programme on the islands TV station.The court handed down a sentence to Schiltz of 5,000 kroner (670 euros) or eight days in prison which was in fact the lightest sentence compared to the other activists who received fines ranging from 3,350 euros to the highest; 4,690 euros, or 14 days in prison, handed down to Kunneke of South Africa.
"On Monday, the prosecution will be asking for immediate deportation, and we will also be appealing that," Kunneke said, adding: "If we fail in our appeals, we would rather do the time than pay a fine which would imply that we accepted the Pilot Whale Act."
Sea Shepherd has repeatedly attempted to highlight and stop the territory's pilot whale hunt. It launched its latest action in the area, involving two vessels and dozens of activists, two months ago.
Luxembourg activist Schiltz was quoted as saying that "this custom is no longer valid in our modern time". As a volunteer he spent his annual leave documenting what he called "the massacre” and was arrested on July 23 by the police, forced to spend a night in prison accused of breaking the 'Pilot Whaling Act'.
During the whale hunt, the three-to-six metre sea mammals are driven by a flotilla of small boats into a bay or the mouth of a fjord before being killed by hand, a "grind" that many locals defend as a cultural right.
The whale meat and blubber are consumed by locals and considered delicacies.
The timing of the killing depends on when the cetaceans are spotted offshore.
Kevin's return flight to Luxembourg is actually booked for Monday and in two weeks he should return to work at the ice rink in Kockelscheuer. However if, like Kunneke he would also "rather do the time than pay a fine", then he will only be able to return to the Grand Duchy after eight days in prison, should be lose his appeal.
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