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Widow challenges no charges for Ghanaian husband’s deportation death

Kyodo

The Japanese widow of a Ghanaian who died after being overpowered by immigration officials during deportation filed a complaint Friday against prosecutors’ decision not to indict the officials.

Abubakar Awudu Suraj, 45, died after being restrained when put on a Cairo-bound jetliner at Narita airport in March 2010.

The 52-year-old widow, who refrained from disclosing her name, filed a criminal complaint against 10 immigration officials, arguing they used illegal force, but the Chiba District Public Prosecutor’s Office decided in July 2012 not to file charges due to lack of evidence.

In a lawsuit filed by the widow and Suraj’s mother, the Tokyo District Court ordered the state in March to pay about ¥5 million to the plaintiffs, saying the deportee “suffocated after having breathing trouble due to being bent over, in addition to having his breathing restricted by a muzzle.”

Both the plaintiffs and the defendant appealed the ruling.

“I expect (prosecutors) to reinvestigate the case, and I hope the immigration authorities will improve their practice and provide an official apology to us,” Suraj’s widow said while filing the complaint Friday with the Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution in Chiba.