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Bangladeshi asylum seeker's handcuffed hospital visit sparks debate

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In 1995, the Osaka District Court ordered the state to compensate a Japanese defendant in a criminal trial who was walked in handcuffs and a rope during a hospital visit to see an eye doctor, recognizing it as a violation of personal rights. The ruling was later upheld by the Supreme Court.

Right, just reinforce the image that justice in Japan is truly NOT blind! Different system for "us" and "them"!

0 ( +19 / -19 )

Not necessary because nobody from Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world, would ever attempt to stay in Japan illegally.

-11 ( +17 / -28 )

Is not surprising. Because they run off on the first chance they get and the immigrant official will never find them again in the city. What i like to know is why he got injured in the first place and why the officials needed to keep such tight security on him. He must have done at least something to warrent such cautioun.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

.@ Hiro.

.

It's a good point.

Why is he seeking asylum?

Is it for religious or political reasons?

15 ( +23 / -8 )

@ hiro - it doesn't say he was injured. Maybe he made medical complaints thinking he might get a chance to escape at the hospital.

3 ( +21 / -18 )

What i like to know is why he got injured in the first place and why the officials needed to keep such tight security on him. He must have done at least something to warrent such cautioun. 

And you give them, the authorities, the benefit of the doubt, even when the article here states

The immigration bureau said it applies handcuffs and a rope to detainees in accordance with a Justice Ministry ordinance, but it also takes measures to prevent detainees being seen by the public in such restraints. In the photo images, Abdullah's handcuffs were covered.

The "only" thing it seems he was guilty of is seeking asylum here in Japan!

0 ( +18 / -18 )

Right, just reinforce the image that justice in Japan is truly NOT blind! Different system for "us" and "them"!

You may want to research to whom in Japan human rights apply.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

Shaming the authorities for the manner in which they escort detainees to hospital in order to seek medical treatment seems rather petty and counterproductive, especially considering that the predictable result of this campaign will just be a denial of further hospital visits in borderline cases to avoid similar criticism. Of all the reasons to criticise the Japanese immigration authorities, this seems like it should be near the bottom of the list.

15 ( +25 / -10 )

You may want to research to whom in Japan human rights apply.

Did you even read the article? I guess not, if you had you would know what I am referring to.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Maybe he made medical complaints thinking he might get a chance to escape at the hospital.

Yeah...or he might you know, , like , actually have some medical issues.....such cases have been known to exist as hard as it might be to believe...sheesh.

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

Did you even read the article? I guess not, if you had you would know what I am referring to.

I did read the article and I did know to what you were referring, so you guess incorrectly.

If you know to whom human rights apply in Japan, you wouldn't be shocked by this at all.

You sure get arsey when people correct you or try to offer more information and you perceive them to be disagreeing with you, yet you never hesitate to correct others. It's hilarious!

16 ( +19 / -3 )

.@ sensei258 is that really a necessary to say one of the poorest countries in the world? Bangladesh is a Bangladesh it doesn't matter if they were rich or poor, countries. They violate the law they must be lock up.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/01/17/national/bangladeshi-asylum-seekers-cuffed-visit-japanese-hospital-sparks-online-debate/

The Japan Times has the picture in its article.

There are at least 3 agents with him, and he is in slippers.

Big risk he would manage to run off... And waste any chance at asylum by the way...

1 ( +14 / -13 )

Thanks, Bintaro.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

If he's detained by authorities, then he must have overstayed his visa or broke some form of immigration procedure, something this article cleverly left out. Ergo, 自業自得.

You aren't detained for seeking asylum, nor is it a human rights violation when you prevent someone who, according to past experieces is very likely to flee authorities, from doing exactly that.

In Europe, he would have been able to run away and even get money for every identity he registers. Fellow didn't research beforehand.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

In Europe, he would have been able to run away and even get money for every identity he registers. Fellow didn't research beforehand.

Then why did he come to Japan - one of the worst countries to come as an asylum seekers?

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

@602miko Sensei258 was being sarcastic... And by the way, he did NOT "violate the law". He is an assylum seeker, not a criminal.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

@Furan Either you have a copy of the "police" report or you are doing nothing but making an uninformed assumption in this particular case. "Those who were deemed clearly not to meet the requirements or have applied many times for asylum in the initial screening can be detained." Surprise! No asylum seekers are ever deemed to meet the requirements.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

More and more proof that japan is not a country that respects human rights. shameful, backward yes .

-9 ( +12 / -21 )

This is absolutely disgusting. That is all I can say at point.

-7 ( +12 / -19 )

How many posters here would be happy to be treated like this?

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Good to see the authorities taking proper precautions to prevent illegals and asylum seekers fleeing into the country.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

If you see the photos floating round it looks more like a dog leash.

But even that's beside the point. Cuffed and roped just seems way way over the top for an asylum seeker, esp when going to a public facility.

But as others suggested, this is the norm for Modern Japan, where guilt of some anti-social action is presumed (hence the restraints) and innocence is to be proven.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Yep, they love that rope don’t they. It’s quite symbolic actually. Not a great look Japan. Could do with a bit of revision on that one.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Japan is one of the largest donor countries to Bangladesh.

https://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/region/sw_asia/bangla_o.pdf

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

I just saw the picture. Its so humiliating! It clearly looks like the victim was a dog on a leash! Come on Japan, so many changes are needed!

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

If the guy were a rapist or murderer, then I wouldn't give a damn, but this is an asylum seeker. Isn't being handcuffed to one officer enough? Can the officers not be plain-clothed? He looks like a dog on a leash. Absolutely sickening.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

@Furan If he's detained by authorities, then he must have overstayed his visa or broke some form of immigration procedure, something this article cleverly left out. Ergo, 自業自得.

You aren't detained for seeking asylum

Well, once again we have people dismissing the plight of those who have much more difficult lives than themselves while confidently putting out opinions that don't tell the whole story.

Legally speaking, you cannot be detained for seeking asylum. However, Japan rejects 99.8% of applicants far more than any other prosperous democratic (democratic?) nation.

Once the appeals are rejected, the rejected applicants are treated as overstayers.

But it seems extremely unlikely that 99.8% of applications are false, considering the rates of genuine cases found by authorities investigating in other nations, even those like Australia where the climate for refugees can be quite hostile.

Of course we do not know about this particular individual, but the 99.8% rejection rate makes it extraordinarily likely that hundreds of genuine applicants are in immigration detention.

This issue has recently been picked up by the mainstream Japanese press, again, not known for their love of refugees and immigrants. This was following a number of suicides of people in detention. Of course a suicide cannot prove a genuine application, but it is further evidence that this is not just about people gaming the system to get into Japan, but people with a genuine fear of going back home.

So your conclusion that he "must have broke some form of procedure" is correct in a manner of speaking.

However since virtually all refugee applicants, including large number of genuine refugees, are rejected by Japan, they become overstayers as a result of Japan's failure to honor its international obligations towards then, rather than as a result of their own wrongdoing.

Your target of your scorn is misplaced.

And separately, a handcuffed human being in slippers surrounded by three officers does not need to be on the end of a rope like a dog.

If you live in Japan, you live in a country with an arbitrary justice system.

Which means, even if you do nothing wrong, that might be you on the end of that leash one day, so you could try exercising a little compassion.

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

Yeah, if "debate" means, "Damn... we look bad again. How can we hide it better next time?" They say "this has sparked debate" every time this or similar things -- like people in detainment dying and being left on the floor, etc. -- happens, which is far too often and never changes.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

@ 603miko - it is both relevant and necessary to mention that he's from Bangladesh one of the poorest countries because desperate people do desperate things

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Interested in the reasons for the downvotes above.

What is it that you disagree with?

Do you think that genuine asylum seekers, who Japan is sworn under international law to protect, should be treated as criminals simply because Japan fraudulently fails to accept genuine application? A 99.8% rejection rate is extremely strong evidence that is what they are doing.

Do you think that leading human around on ropes is not demeaning and unnecessary? (particularly the individual is not a criminal suspect and they are already handcuffed and in slippers and surrounded by multiple officers)

Do you disagree that the Japanese justice system is arbitrary (meaning that judgements are based on who in trouble rather than what they did with the same treatment for everyone, regardless of status?)

I wonder who disagrees with these statements. Japanese government employees monitoring these boards for "anti" comments? New arrivals who don't yet really understand how Japan works as a nation? Bilingual nationalists determined to defend Japan against all and any criticism (there are quite a few of those lurking on these boards).

In any case, regardless of your objections, this roping asylum seekers terrible in the international news. I thought Japan looking bad internationally was something that the nationalists were always so very keen to avoid?

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

smithinjapan: "Damn... we look bad again. How can we hide it better next time?"

lol. Absolutely nailed it. Ippon!

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

I know the optics look bad, but at least Japan can retain control and sovereignty as a nation unlike some of the European countries and, maybe, the U.S. pretty soon.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

If the man poses a threat of illegal escape into the country, this treatment is not only warranted but common sense. One only has to look to Europe to see what happens otherwise

6 ( +13 / -7 )

There has to more to this story. That they've clamped the irons on Abdullah and put him on a leash suggests that he has past form.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

The leash is standard procedure. Even our mate Ghosn was sporting one. Safety first ey.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

フフフ。。。"Japan accepted just 20 asylum seekers last year – despite a record 19,628 applications – drawing accusations that the country is unfairly closing its door on people in genuine need." And before you say these numbers are exaggerated...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/16/japan-asylum-applications-2017-accepted-20

AND

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/02/13/national/japan-saw-record-number-refugee-applicants-2017-justice-ministry-says/#.XEFI_lxKiUk

So basically all are detained. But remember folks... detained does not mean that they did anything wrong other than to apply for asylum. So anyone "knowing" that they must have done something wrong is speaking out of their tiny-little-pony.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Japan accepted 20 asylum seekers... The typical Konbini line-up at lunch is longer than that.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

So basically all are detained. But remember folks... detained does not mean that they did anything wrong other than to apply for asylum. So anyone "knowing" that they must have done something wrong is speaking out of their tiny-little-pony.

Right, I agree!

Detention of foreigners at immigration centers is based on administrative rather than criminal procedures, he said.

Yet they are treated as criminals when they are cuffed and led around on a leash. Which is typically reserved for those accused of crimes (even though THAT was found to be a violation of personal rights to a Japanese defendant)

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Japan is not the US or any other country and it can have its own laws and procedures. Not for us to "judge" so much as to recognize the differences. Something we do for China, S Korea and N Korea as well.

But, to be allowed to "visit" in itself deserves to be commended.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Hand cuffs and rope around the waist is standard treatment for Japanese prisoners---many times I've seen prisoners so restrained getting off trains from the country at Ueno Station---if thats the wayJapanese are treated you wouldn't to discriminate by treating foreigners differently---would you?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

What debate is there that this sparked? He is a flight risk so needs to be restrained. Just like Ghosn

3 ( +5 / -2 )

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@senseiwhatever....Poor country = desperate people ? Feeling good about yourself being born in not so “poor country” and writing stuff online!?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Poor guy, handcuffed and on a leash in hospital... What a nice human treatment! Omotenashi...

Probably Yakuza treats better...

...Seems, Japan only accepts slaves, mostly as temporary workers, and not refugees...

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I am more interested into why exactly is he seeking asylum in Japan from all countries near him , and I am not exactly sure how innocence presumption or court in illegal trials even valid arguments here.

He is detained because he stayed illegally, which means he already broke the law, innocence presumption doesn't apply., in addition he is only detained ( and that is how lenient Japanese immigration is ) after overstaying, being caught, during appeal on the decision of deportation ( already found fit for deportation but fighting it ).

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I just wonder, cant JP ministry speed up those deportations, this way they will avoid most of the bad press.

I understand they are trying to cut costs by making those "asylum seekers" pay for their own tix, but I would think the bad press + cost of feeding and watching em would be better spent just getting em on lcc back to home country ( or any country they got visa to )

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Those who is taking pride mentioning it as poor country should know, BD gained independence with cost of 3m lives barely 47 years ago and progressing steadily everyday since. We're still the 2nd biggest apparel exporter in the world. However, Japan invested a lot here recently since they saw profit shining, they didn't do any charity. If anyone came to japan, it's either by student visa or work visa which is tough since only highly-skilled professionals can obtain that. Now the student visa is too easy to get including a catch, with total cost for a year's language tuition, visa, accommodation it's at least 10,000$ expense for a year. After that, if one can't manage a job/work visa, has to pay same amount for admitting as a student or leave. That amount is too big on some, I assume some people throw it like a risky investment to take a chance to make a living. I reckon He's similar, just tried to make a living and failed. So no need to throw some disrespectful or inane opinions to prove we're becoming inhumane everyday.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He is detained because he stayed illegally, which means he already broke the law,

The way people like you think is so sad. Sometimes people are in desperate situations. Sometimes people need help. The Japanese government refuses to help refugees, despite signing international treaties pledging to uphold refugees rights (in much the same way as Japan signed the  Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination but has not put in place any laws to back it up).

In any case, when you criticize the detainee saying "he already broke the law", you are not really making any sense.

If a country decides to criminalize or otherwise mistreat almost all those who make applications for asylum, then maybe those people are technically "illegal", but the question is whether they have been treated just and fairly in accordance with international law in the first place.

This is the problem with right wing political philsophy. Any government or authority can put in place any set of rules, no matter how unjust, and as soon as an individual is found to be in violation of those rules, rightists do not look to the people who put the rules in place and demand they stop behaving unjustly. Instead, like little sheep they repeat "he broke a rule, bad man - he broke a rule, bad man". over and over, refusing to see any form of nuance, refusing to recognize that not all rules, laws and procedures are just, and refusing to see the humanity in the individuals punished under the scope of the unjust treatment.

This is how you can identify a Republican in the US and an LDP supporter in Japan.

A picture of a handcuffed man on a rope is a good litmus test.

Thoughful people will see a man in handcuffs and ask - does he deserve it? What has he done? Why did he act the way he acted? What would I have done were I in his position? Is his treatment just?

However, many are not troubled by such difficult thoughts - they simply repeat 'he was detained, must be evil; he was detained must be evil; he was detained must be evil - with no regard to the context behind the detention.

If you are sworn by legal arguments, be reminded that seeking asylum is not illegal.

Perhaps you could all try repeating a new mantra - human beings have an inalienable right to seek refuge from violence, human beings have an inalienable right to seek refuge from violence, human beings have an inalienable right to seek refuge from violence.

Do you rely believe all of the 99.8% of asylum applications refused by Japan are fraudulent? What horrendous cynicism.

A further irony is that these asylum seekers are displaying exactly the kind of drive, energy, and desire to struggle, improve their situation and succeed that many right wing voters see, when it suits their agenda, as core elements of desirable human behavior.

Why not raise a glass to these brave men and women and their endeavor?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

A further irony is that these asylum seekers are displaying exactly the kind of drive, energy, and desire to struggle, improve their situation and succeed that many right wing voters see, when it suits their agenda, as core elements of desirable human behavior.

Well said. The migrants crossing the English Channel are akin to the brave souls fleeing Dunkirk. But instead, they are villified and treated like dirt.

Heavens forbid anyone who demonizes asylum seekers or migrants ever has to face persecution or conflict or simply seek a better life for themselves and their loved ones.

@jpn-guy; thank you & please post more often.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is a good example of human rights abuse; I am not going to visit Japan anytime soon.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This is a good example of human rights abuse; I am not going to visit Japan anytime soon.

Don't be put off, Siddha. If enough people speak out against such awful practices, we can make a difference.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is a clear view of humanity in the so called developed world. Just imagine in Bangladesh hundreds and thousands of Rohingya refugees took shelter, how many of them are handcuffed? What are the chances of them people to flee? Japan may be rich financially, but extremely poor to realize human value, oppositely Bangladesh is relatively poor, but far apart from the poor human rights nation like Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Seeking asylum in an island country??.. Like the 99,9% of those asylum seekers in Japan, they are cheating, they just looking for Jobs in another country. If you are running for your life, you go to the most near frontier, not buy a ticket to a far away island.. Stop cheating, go to another country, The law is the law!!..

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Like the 99,9% of those asylum seekers in Japan, they are cheating, they just looking for Jobs in another country

And where is your proof?

you go to the most near frontier, not buy a ticket to a far away island.. 

Wouldn't you want to move as far as possible from war, conflict, genocide, famine?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Is it me or am I seeing a strong bullying undercurrent in the justice system here against foreigners? Of course this isn’t new. What are they trying to prove to the world? They’re making billions off foreigners, they're screaming for foreign labor, yet they treat foreigners as if this nation were doing the world a favor. おかしい.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oh, right... if you just cover the handcuffs and the ropes is OK, uh?

So they could be also torture... provided it is according to the law and nobody sees them. COol.

The shower was a Goemonburo, I suppose...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@602miko Sensei258 was being sarcastic... And by the way, he did NOT "violate the law". He is an assylum seeker, not a criminal.

Yes. And why is this story in the crime section?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If a person is not a violent-threat criminal, then should be treated with regular human dignity

A jaywalker is violating the law too, but that doesn't automatically treated like a violent-threat criminal

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He is from Bangladesh. Why not cross the border and stay in India or ask for asylum there? Seems strange when these people from random far away countries suddenly decide Japan is the best place for them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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