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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 November 20 - 26  > SLAPP suit victims gather together at civic event
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2013 November 20 - 26 TOP3 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

SLAPP suit victims gather together at civic event

November 26, 2013
Leading activists of anti-U.S. bases and nuclear power plants movements who are put on SLAPP trials gathered together for the first time on November 23 at a symposium in Tokyo.

This symposium was organized by citizens as a joint action against SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) cases.

SLAPP suits are normally filed by government authorities or corporations against individuals in an attempt to silence their criticism and opposition on public issues.

One of the SLAPP victims attending the event was Isa Masatsugu, who heads residents’ sit-ins against the construction of military helipads for U.S. aircraft Osprey in the Takae district of Higashi Village, Okinawa Prefecture. He revealed how residents are forced to endure a long court struggles after the national government sued them for “obstructing” public roads.

Other SLAPP victims present at the symposium included residents of Iwaishima Island who have been urged in court by Chugoku Electric Power Co. to pay 48 million yen for damages caused by blocking its construction of a nuclear power plant in Kaminoseki City (Yamaguchi Pref.) and anti-nuclear protesters who have been sued by the Economy Ministry for putting up a tent site in front of the ministry’s building in Tokyo.

Reporting on their court struggle, they also warned that a state secrets protection bill, if enacted, could punish people who are involved in movements opposing nuclear power generation, U.S. bases, and other social issues.

Past related issues:
> High court rules resident’s protest as ‘obstructing’ US helipad construction [June 26, 2013]
> Activists resolve to fight back against gov’t move to remove ‘anti-nuke tent’ [April 11, 2013]
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