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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 March 21 - 27  > SDF’s surveillance of civil protests illegal: court ruling
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2012 March 21 - 27 TOP3 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

SDF’s surveillance of civil protests illegal: court ruling

March 27, 2012
The Sendai District Court on March 26 ruled that it was illegal for the Self-Defense Forces to monitor civil activities opposing the SDF dispatch to Iraq.

The lawsuit was filed by 107 citizens, who claimed that the SDF Intelligence Security unit violated citizens’ freedom of expression and right to privacy by taking photos and collecting the personal information of participants attending rallies and demonstrations opposing the dispatch of the SDF to Iraq.

The ruling acknowledged that the state violated the basic human rights of 5 plaintiffs and ordered it to pay 50,000 to 100,000 yen to each of them in compensation.

The court, however, turned down the plaintiffs’ demand that the SDF stop collecting citizens’ personal information.

The SDF’s surveillance activities came to light in June 2007 when Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo disclosed several internal documents of the SDF Intelligence Security unit.

JCP Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi at a press conference on March 26 stated that the ruling was expected. “The SDF must therefore immediately stop its illegal monitoring activities of citizens,” he urged.
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