Relatives of an Iranian man who died in an immigration detention facility in 1997 are demanding an investigation into why public prosecutors chose not to charge eight bureau officials with assault resulting in death.

Their lawyer said the relatives filed a petition with the Tokyo No. 1 Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution after receiving new information in October from another Iranian detainee, who claimed the man stopped moving after being assaulted by staff at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau.

According to the petition, the 28-year-old man was detained at the bureau in 1997 for staying in Japan illegally.

He died that August after being locked in a room and bound with leather and metal handcuffs.

Bruises and wounds were found all over his body.

The Metropolitan Police Department turned over to prosecutors their case against the eight bureau officials, but the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office decided in March 1998 not to indict them.

The witness, who was detained together with the man, said that after several officials beat the man up, two of them sat on his back and handcuffed him. One of the officials had a mustache and the other was about 175 cm tall.

The lawyer said the account by the witness was credible, concrete and matched the objective situation at the time the event occurred.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.