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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 July 31 - August 6  > JCP Dietmembers investigate hunger strike at immigration detention center
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2019 July 31 - August 6 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Dietmembers investigate hunger strike at immigration detention center

August 1, 2019

Japanese Communist Party parliamentarians Fujino Yasufumi and Shiokawa Tetsuya on July 31 called Justice Ministry officials to the Dietmembers’ office building to conduct a hearing about a major hunger strike by foreign nationals detained at an immigration center.

The protest action started in May at the Higashi-Nihon Immigration Center in Ibaraki’s Ushiku City. Around 100 of 320 detainees in the facility are now on hunger strike.

As the reason for launching the strike, the protesters pointed to the poor medical services at the detention center. This was shown in a survey conducted by JCP Ushiku City Assembly members recently.

At the hearing, asked by Fujino and Shiokawa, Justice Ministry officials admitted that every year since 2016, hunger strikes have taken place with 50-100 detainees participating.

As the underlying cause of the frequent protests, Fujino pointed out the fact that many foreigners are unjustly forced to stay in the facility for a long time. He urged the ministry to withdraw its policy regarding unreasonably long-term detentions.

The JCP Dietmembers criticized the immigration center for having detainees pay for the cost of daily necessities and having detainees with hepatitis B or C share a cell with others.

Past related articles:
> Over 100 foreign detainees staged hunger strike in immigration center in Ibaraki's Ushiku [May 22, 2018]
> JCP Fujino: Gov’t should take measures to prevent suicides in immigration detention centers [May 18, 2018]

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