The Tokyo District Court ordered the central government Thursday to pay 600,000 yen to an Iranian former inmate at Fuchu Prison for abuse at the hands of guards.
Bahman Daneshian Far, 36, sued the government for 15 million yen for what he said was the use of a leather restraining device as a punitive measure, improper use of a tranquilizer and other unjust treatment during his incarceration at the western Tokyo prison in the mid-1990s.
Bahman said in the suit that in 1994, guards assaulted him, used the restraining device in a tortuous manner and confined him in a “protection chamber” — a padded cell — on three separate occasions.
Bahman claimed the prison officials verbally abused him with racist remarks in early 1994, unlawfully hampered his efforts to report his plight to the United Nations Human Rights Committee by injecting him with a tranquilizer in January 1995 and kept him in solitary confinement for two years.
In awarding him 600,000 yen, the court recognized some of the claims of abuse. It also acknowledged that prison officials misused the tranquilizer, causing him mental and physical harm.
The court, however, said the statute of limitations for government redress had expired in all the claims except for the use of the tranquilizer by the time Bahman sued the government in August 1997.
After the ruling, lawyer Yuichi Kaido, who represented Bahman, said the amount is too small, given the physical and psychological suffering endured by his client. But he still hailed the court for recognizing the abuse inside prison walls. The Justice Ministry said it will decide whether to appeal the ruling after a thorough examination.
Bahman served a four-year term at the prison between 1993 and 1997 for injuring three colleagues where he worked. He returned to Iran after his release.
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