Photos of a Bangladeshi asylum-seeker being taken to a Japanese hospital while roped and in handcuffs have sparked an online debate on the treatment of foreign people detained at immigration centers.

The images of a cuffed Mahruf Abdullah walking inside a hospital accompanied by uniformed immigration officials, with one of them holding a rope tied to Abdullah's waist, were taken by a hospital visitor in October and have since been posted on social media by Asahi Oda, a supporter of immigration detainees.

Abdullah, 36, agreed to be named and to have the images shared, saying he hopes to let people know how people like him are being treated.