• Kyodo

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The Nagoya Bar Association called Monday for a review of use of leather manacles and solitary confinement at Nagoya Prison in the wake of allegations of abuse of prisoners.

Kiyoshi Narita, chairman of the association, said in a statement the prison should also stop hindering inmates’ attempts to seek outside help to protect their human rights.

The bar association’s move comes after five prison officials were arrested Friday on suspicion of attacking a 30-year-old male inmate Sept. 25 after locking him in solitary confinement and restraining him in manacles.

Narita pointed out that the alleged abuse took place after the association issued a warning in August against using manacles and solitary confinement, saying their use should be kept to a minimum.

“We urge the prison to take our warning in earnest and consider drastically reviewing” its practices, Narita said in the statement.

Narita also complained that the prison has not been cooperative in allowing the bar association to probe complaints filed by inmates regarding human rights violations.

He also expressed concern over a set of human rights protection bills now before the Diet which would establish a human rights committee as a Justice Ministry affiliate.

“We strongly urge the establishment of a human rights protection agency truly independent of the government,” he said.

Narita’s comment echoes concerns that the committee would be ineffective because it would come under the control of the ministry that supervises facilities blamed for human rights abuse.

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