Foreigners In Japanese Immigration Centers On Hunger Strike After Suicide Of Indian Detainee

| April 17 , 2018 , 15:23 IST

Foreigners detained at a Japanese immigration detention center are on a hunger strike after an Indian man detained at the center died in an apparent suicide on Friday after being denied release.

The foreigners reportedly began refusing food on Sunday, and are also protesting to bring attention to the conditions of the detention center, long term detention and inmates' inability to win temporary release.

ALSO READ: Grateful To India For Remembering Hiroshima Victims: Japan Minister

According to activists, the Indian man who died on Friday at the East Japan Immigration Centre, northwest of Tokyo killed himself a day after being denied release, and is the 14th death at a Japanese immigration detention centre since 2006.

An Iranian taking part in the protest Majid Seyed Nejat, said to Reuters that 19 detainees held in the same block as the Indian had launched the hunger strike to pressure the authorities to address their complaints.

"We want to know what responsibility they will take for the death," he said.

ALSO READ: 22 Injured As Asiana Passenger Plane Skids Off Runway In Japan

Mitsuru Miyasako, an activist who works with immigrants and foreign detainees, said that since then inmates in 5 separate blocks at the center had also joined the hunger strike, adding that while the number of people refusing food was unclear, it was likely to exceed 100.

Last month, detainees had submitted a petition requesting an end to long-term detention, giving examples of inmates who had been detained for over two years, said Miyasako.

Despite the population in Japan shrinking and companies struggling with the worst labour shortages in more than 40 years, immigration is still a difficult option since cultural and ethnic homogeneity is deeply rooted.

Currently, the 17 immigration detention facilities of Japan hold a total of 1,317 people.