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Court ruling runs counter to world trend for greater freedom: defense lawyers

The lawyers defending Horikoshi on June 29 issued a statement protesting the Tokyo District Court ruling as unconsitutional.

The statement pointed out that the National Public Service Law provision that bans government employees from participating in political activities is unconstitutional because it was imposed on Japan by the U.S. occupation forces.

It criticized the court for justifying the ban accompanied with criminal punishment for distributing handbills that has nothing to do with the public duties of the Horikoshi in any sense, stating, "The court's outrageous argument is tantamount to denying government employees the rights guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution."

The judgment, it pointed out, runs counter to the trend of establishing greater political freedom for public employees as seen in the International Covenants on Human Rights and International Labor Organization Treaties as well as the amendment made to the U.S. Hatch Act, and cannot evade international criticisms.

The statement also pointed out that the trial revealed that the security police fabricated alleged evidence in the investigation and that the police seriously violated human rights by monitoring Horikoshi's activities for a long period of time, using a number of personnel and various equipments.

The court has abandoned its mission to restrain illegal police investigations by condoning such illegal activities of the public security police which is nothing but a crime committed by the authorities themselves, it emphasized.

The lawyers expressed their determination to appeal to the higher court, to make every effort to win acquittal, and to increase the struggle to defend freedom of expression and freedom of political activity.
- Akahata, June 30, 2006

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