Regarding Minoru Matsutani’s April 1 article “Protests hit immigration detainee treatment“: I participated in protests in front of the Immigration Bureau and the Ministry of Justice on March 31. One of the demands was thorough investigation into the death of a Ghanaian aboard an airplane that was to transport him for forced deportation from Narita on March 22. I am concerned that this incident is gravely underreported in the Japanese mainstream media.
There have only been a couple of tiny articles telling the government’s side of the story: he allegedly became violent and had to be “restrained”; he then “stopped moving” and was taken to the airport hospital, where his death was confirmed. The police conducted an autopsy and found no “major injuries,” the cause of death unknown.
I think there are still questions to be asked: for example, why was he being deported in the first place, why and how did he resist if he actually did, what methods of “restraint” were employed, and was proper medical attention given when he “stopped moving”? There are allegations of abuse at detention facilities in this country that are seldom, if ever, brought into daylight. But this time, there should be international eye witnesses as the incident took place on an Egypt Air airplane.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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