Rainbow Warrior free

Feature story - 4 July, 2003
Supporters in 14 cities around the world protested in front of Spanish embassies. Over 30,000 cyberactivists sent emails to the Spanish government asking for the ship's release. Even rock stars and politicians offered their help. The result: a resounding victory!

Rainbow Warrior in full sail off Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Government of Spain through its Ministry of Public Works and Transport has resolved to lower the bond that was placed on our flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, from €300,000 to €6,000.

We have deposited the bond and the Rainbow Warrior has left the Port of Valencia to continue the campaign to protect the world's last remaining ancient forests.

"Common sense has finally prevailed," said Juan Lopez de Uralde, executive director of Greenpeace in Spain. "In any case, we will continue to defend in the courts the illegality of this case, but the ship must continue its work to protect the ancient forests and the environment."

In the official communiqué from the Spanish authorities, the Ministry admitted that "the amount (€300,000) corresponds to a violation of 'very grave' character", that "The facts that have given way to the current measures have not tended to secure any personal profit or interest, therefore the existence of any commercial or lucrative gain is discarded" and that "it should be taken into account the time which has already transpired since June 13, when the ship was detained in the port, and the inherent consequences of said detention all parties have suffered."

The Rainbow Warrior was detained by Spanish authorities on 13 June after activists carried out a peaceful, non-violent protest against the timber transport ship, Honour. The Honour was carrying timber from Cameroon, belonging to companies known to be involved in illegal and destructive logging. After the demonstration, the Rainbow Warrior was boarded by the Spanish Civil Guard and detained in the Port of Valencia.