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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 May 16 - 22  > Over 100 foreign detainees staged hunger strike in immigration center in Ibaraki's Ushiku
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2018 May 16 - 22 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Over 100 foreign detainees staged hunger strike in immigration center in Ibaraki's Ushiku

May 22, 2018
Three assemblypersons of the Japanese Communist Party in Ushiku City in Ibaraki Prefecture made representations to the Justice Ministry Immigration Bureau on May 21, demanding that the authorities pay humanitarian consideration and overcome the status quo in which more than 100 detainees last month had to resort to waging a hunger strike.

The hunger strike took place at the Ushiku immigration center after an Indian man in his 30s committed suicide reportedly due to his protracted detention. The UN Committee against Torture has criticized Japan for its long-term confinement of foreigners with no status of residence in Japan.

The three JCP members of the Ushiku City Assembly demanded that nighttime healthcare provision be enhanced and that medical counselors be assigned to all detention centers. JCP member of the House of Representatives Shiokawa Tetsuya accompanied them and pointed out, "Recent Diet debate has also shed light on the poor medical services in place. Japan has long been under criticism for its refugee policy and its neglect of the human rights of foreign nationals." He stated, "Japan must take the criticism seriously."

Touched by the news of the mass-hunger strike, dozens of Japanese citizens on May 20 demonstrated outside the Ushiku immigration center. The protesters in English shouted in unison, "Stop Long Detentions!" The response "Arigato" which means "thank you" in Japanese was heard from the facility. A 27-year-old participant said, "This is a question of the right to life. The environment for immigration detainees should be improved without delay."

Past related article:
> Poor medical standards at immigration centers in Japan violate human rights [May 10, 2018]
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