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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 October 2 - 8  > Foreign detainee starved to death after huger-strike protesting against long-term confinement in detention center
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2019 October 2 - 8 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Foreign detainee starved to death after huger-strike protesting against long-term confinement in detention center

October 8, 2019

An investigation report the Immigration Services Agency released on October 1 revealed that in June at a detention center in Nagasaki Prefecture a male detainee, who was on a hunger-strike protesting his prolonged confinement, starved to death.

The detainee in question was a Nigerian national in his 40s. He came to Japan in 2000. After being put in jail for theft and other charges, he was released on parole and detained at the Osaka Regional Immigration Bureau in 2015. One year later, he was transferred to the Omura Immigration Detention Center in Nagasaki’s Omura City.

According to the immigration agency report, it was May 30 when a detention facility officer figured out that the man was on a hunger strike. Asked about the reason for the strike, he reportedly said, “For these ten years, I have been deprived of my freedom. Temporary release or deportation, any decision is fine. Get me out of here.” After May 30, he continued refusing to eat and was confirmed dead on June 24.

The Judicial Ministry defended the Omura center’s handling of the situation by saying that the detainee’s death was unavoidable as he refused to receive medical treatment. Regarding the center’s refusal to release him under temporary release and deportation, the ministry said that the center’s action was justifiable due to the possibility that other detainees may go on hunger strikes.

A civil group working on the issue of the long-term confinement of immigrant detainees on October 3 issued a statement.

In the statement, the civil group pointed out that the unreasonably long-term detention caused the man to starved himself to death. The statement made various demands, including an improvement of medical services at detention centers and stressed the need to revise the indefinite detention policy and other policies on illegal immigration without delay.

Past related articles:
>JCP Dietmembers investigate hunger strike at immigration detention center [ August 1, 2019]
> JCP lawmakers inspect poor conditions at immigration detention facilities [ October 21, 2018]
> Poor medical standards at immigration centers in Japan violate human rights [ May 10, 2018]

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