Five Afghan men released after being detained on suspicion of illegally entering Japan are displaying symptoms of Acute Traumatic Stress Disorder, including frequent nightmares, the five men and their lawyers said Saturday.
The five often dream about their terrifying experiences at the detention center, they said at a press conference in Tokyo.
They were among nine Afghan men detained on Oct. 3 while applying for refugee status. They filed a lawsuit on Oct. 20 with the Tokyo District Court, claiming that their detention on suspicion of illegally entering Japan was unlawful.
The four still being detained are reportedly emaciated. One of them attempted to commit suicide on Oct. 14, while another is unable to walk after a six-day hunger strike.
“The country has been in a state of civil war ever since I was born,” said Mohammad Jawid, 26, one of the five who were released, displaying a scar on his arm made by a Taliban soldier. “We fled to Japan as there was no place to live. We would like the Japanese government to understand how we feel.”
The nine men, from a number of minority Afghan groups, including the Hazara, were persecuted by the Taliban and arrived in Japan between June and August.
While applying for refugee status, they were detained by Japanese immigration officials.
Their lawsuit with the court demanding the charges be suspended has been turned down for four of the men, while a different department in the district court upheld the suit for the remaining five men on the grounds that “the detention is counter to international order.”
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