crime

Sri Lankan man dies at immigration center after being denied medical attention

77 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2014 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

77 Comments
Login to comment

This whole situation and outcome is totally unacceptable.

34 ( +35 / -3 )

Smell that? Yeah, it's eau du cover-up. I could see this going on in a third world country but Japan should know better than this. What a shame and embarrassment for the country as a whole in 2014. Those on duty at the time should be held accountable and punishment dealt swiftly to send the message out loud and clear that they are dealing with human beings and should afford them with respect and dignity.

32 ( +31 / -1 )

"She denied any unnecessary delay in summoning medical help."

And

“At that time his body was already cold and had no pulse,”

Do not compute... Take quite a bit of time for a body to cool off and assuming the cells are not freezers (who knows actually...)

This is appalling...

20 ( +21 / -2 )

It doesnt surprise me. RIP, Mr Fernando.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

You gotta understand where you stand in the eyes of the Japanese. The higher class you belong to, the better you're treated.

Class 1: Native born, pure bred Japanese Class 2: Foreign born Japanese Class 3: Blue eyed, blonde haired Caucasian Class 4: Other Caucasian Class 5: Japan borned, non Japanese (or mixed) Class 6: Other northeast Asians (Koreans and Chinese) Class 7: The rest

17 ( +24 / -7 )

To deny another human being medical treatment and to have increasing numbers of Japanese die in incarceration is scandalous! Yet, it clearly sends a message to asylum seekers - Japan is not a soft touch......

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The way Japan deals with immigration and asylum seekers is a total disgrace to humanity. They acceptepted 6(!!) asylum seekers in 2014. Japan wants to be a respected member of the international security but don't want to accept any responsibilities for the crisis in this world. It's good that this article is listed under "crime". Because crime it is how Japan deals with those people.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

A Sri Lankan detainee died after collapsing at a detention center in Tokyo, an official said on Tuesday (Nov 22)

A spokeswoman at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police told AFP an autopsy had been carried out, but refused to reveal its findings. She did not give a clear reason for her refusal.

Boy they sure moved fast on the autopsy, it's just too bad they hadn't moved as fast while he still had a heartbeat!

“If it had been a Japanese person complaining of pain in his chest, this would never have happened.”

Damn right! And someone WOULD BE held accountable an under arrest and then spend the next few years going through the legal system. Justice is as elusive as sincere apologies in Japan which the victim's family will soon discover!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I hope the family files a wrongful death suit against the Japanese government.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

You gotta understand where you stand in the eyes of the Japanese. The higher class you belong to, the better you're treated. Class 1: Native born, pure bred Japanese Class 2: Foreign born Japanese Class 3: Blue eyed, blonde haired Caucasian Class 4: Other Caucasian Class 5: Japan borned, non Japanese (or mixed) Class 6: Other northeast Asians (Koreans and Chinese) Class 7: The rest

Always knew that was the case. Also consider yourself a lucky 1 if you were born in countries like the UK & USA or any other 1st world country. They want you. This Guy was from Sri Lanka-thats a 3rd world country- they thought "Hes just pretending so we can set him free so No way we are gonna let him, God bless and Rest his Soul, He was a Human Being too.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

This has been going on for some time now. I guess you could say, well he had a pre existing condition but I dont know, seems strange to me......

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@sfjp

What you say is so true, but not just for Japan.

Anywhere east of Greece is insanely, destructively patriotic. Why that should be I don't know, but I suspect a deep inferiority complex somewhere.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Japan accepted six refugees during the year, down from 18 in the previous year."

For a country of 127 million this is a shockingly low number.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

A Sri Lankan detainee died after collapsing at a detention center in Tokyo, an official said on Tuesday, the latest in a string of similar cases that critics say illustrates a shameful attitude toward immigrants.

Japan once again proves beyond the shadow of a doubt what type of moral character they have as a country/society. They should be prosecuted for Human Rights violations. Sickening.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

I could see this going on in a third world country but Japan

Japan basically IS a third-world country. It just has a very, very thin veneer of first-world appearance....which is getting thinner by the day.

8 ( +18 / -8 )

@Gaijindesu

"You gotta understand where you stand in the eyes of the Japanese. The higher class you belong to, the better you're treated.

Class 1: Native born, pure bred Japanese Class 2: Foreign born Japanese Class 3: Blue eyed, blonde haired Caucasian Class 4: Other Caucasian Class 5: Japan borned, non Japanese (or mixed) Class 6: Other northeast Asians (Koreans and Chinese) Class 7: The rest"

A severe boycott in global JP products could reverse this inhuman totem pole.

-1 ( +3 / -3 )

Discussing the issue recently with young immigration inspectors, their line was that asylum seekers were criminals, who had entered (or overstayed in) the country illegally.

Those of us from societies shaped by the Abrahamic religions expect a modicum of empathy and care for an individual's plight, whereas Confucianism values the individual's (blind?) service to the hierarchy.

RIP Nickeles Fernando. And shame on an uncaring government.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Unbelievable. I also wonder if they purposely select a spokeswoman for these things, in order to "soften" the news. I hope this series of accidents will get a lot of international press, but I'm afraid it will be buried. RIP to the three who have recently died unnecessarily, and to the others who have had a similar fate in the past. Sad.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Be careful Japan,

Déjà vu. Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Next it could be China and the two Koreas encouraging the U.N. Security Council to make an inquiry into Japan’s human rights record and refer the immigration detention situation to the International Criminal Court.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

No need for a cover up on this. They don't care enough about the issue to feel they need to hide it.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Life needs the money. That's Japan. The more you have the more you get, if your Japanese that is or an elite foreigner in the upper echelons. For common foreigner it depends where you come from and color of one's skin. A common foreigner is bottom on the Japan totem pole. Don't expect help here if you get in trouble. No money you get lots of "im sorry" which don't amount to squat.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hang your head in shame Japan, people are not animals, stop treating other people like they are worthless

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Medical process at japan's immigration detention facilities really sucks, you feel something happenning with your body and you get attended weeks after.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

ongagomo, yeah, very true. Japan has a first world economy and a 3rd world legal system.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Before we jump to any conclusions, plese consider that perhaps he was being uncooperative or beligerant. Anyway, Im sure he was too old for the work trainee program. Lets keep things in perspective.

-23 ( +4 / -27 )

Institutionalised racism of the deepest sort, so much part of the 'self' that many Japanese don't even realise it. 'Japan doesn't have racism', yes, yes it does, as any country does, but Japan as yet doesn't even recognise the issue.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Yet, it clearly sends a message to asylum seekers - Japan is not a soft touch.

Part of the reason why Japan has been able to get away with flouting the UN refugee convention is that it was the first and only credible East Asian signatory (before Korea in 1992). To put it bluntly, either they gave Japan a free pass or they risked the 'international' agreement having no Asian signatories at all. Unfortunately nothing has changed. You will often find this same dillema with other agreements where Japan is or was the only Asian member.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

it's always sad to hear someone die, and sadder when he or she dies in a foreign land. in a foreign land, people are expected to be treated as guests (excluding criminals, who ofcourse can't get into a foreign land easily). and Japan speaks more than any other nation on earth of its own hospitality and kindness and so on. and almost every people does agree with them, as long as they stay out of Japan. still, surprisingly, Japanese government aggressively tries to promote its image as a global, caring and strong nation. now is the generation of Internet and high speed communication, they can't supress the voices of the foreigners living here legally. we love Japan as like the Japanese, but we hate the wrongdoings done by the natives (which themselves wouldn't disclose). if Japan wants respect internationally, first it must has to earn respect domestically. wish they would try to learn their lessons from these crimes against humanity. and there is proper records of Japanese immigration enforcers killing immigrants during their forced deportation also in the near past. all of these incidents are connected, the cause is clear as crystal to everyone who wants to see.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

In cells for immigration violations, denied medical assistance. Non release of Autopsy? Medical issues = solitary confinement. 2014 in the rest of the 1st World Nations 1014 still in Japan.Pathetic.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

SHAME...............it should be the kanji of the year for Japan 2014 SHAME!

Japanese as I have always said are a cold bunch, the whole uchi/soto, they even treat their own badly & OFTEN!

I mean chest pains WTF this = heart attack!!

The guards involved should be up on criminal charges...........yeah right!

In almost 25yrs here I think 2014 has been the most depressing the ways its gone down, Japan is really really taking the low road on so many things, the future is just not going to be happening here for the 90% of the population, Japan is really looking like it envies the lifestyles of China & North Korea, cause that's where Japans heading!

What a mess, what a SHAME ( kanji of the year folks!)!!!

5 ( +10 / -5 )

No Developed nation can stop migration of people from Third World countries untill their Companies will not stop doing business and ripping those peoples.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“He had begun to complain about severe chest pain at about 7 a.m. on Nov 22, but instead of calling a doctor, immigration officials moved him from a shared cell into a single one,” PRAJ member Hiromitsu Masuda told AFP.

A spokeswoman at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau told AFP a detainee was moved to solitary for observation after feeling unwell.

It seems again the information is not fully provided here. They didn't just moved him to a single cell (and not calling a doctor), the guard present there specifically refused to alert a doctor, on the grounds that a medical facility inside the detention center was not open on Saturdays.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/12/01/national/social-issues/another-foreigner-dies-at-immigration-bureau/#.VH5x64sfU1g

Yeah it boggles the mind but they just let him die.

I don't know what game Japan is trying to play here, but this is ugly and the nation is just not doing itself good with such a criminal attitude towards vulnerable foreign populations present on its land.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's not just this incident, and it's not just a problem having to do with non-Japanese either. The medical care system in Japan is just appalling. Try finding a clinic or even an emergency hospital open on the weekend.

In October last year, a Rohingya asylum-seeker collapsed and died at the Tokyo center after staff failed to call for a medic, allegedly because the doctor was having lunch.

Why don't doctors know how to work shifts here?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

We are dealing with humans here,,not those dogs who can be thrown out in numbers whenever we want. Whether he/she is old or young,,,treat him/her as it is -- ur fellow human being...Japan!!!! disgusting..a country with no soul.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The authorities and the police are just plain racist. There's no other explanation.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

When a human being jeopardises the life of another by denial of medical attention, it is not much short of murder. When will the general human race realise that HUMAN LIFE IS PARAMOUNT, no matter the part of the world you come from. A life is a life. Fernando san, RIP. May your family have the courage to carry on!!!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hang your head in shame Japan, people are not animals, stop treating other people like they are worthless

Will you hang your head in shame too since you are living here? Your wife, kids, gf? Sorry didn't know a lowly immigration center represented the minds of an entire coutry.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I meant to say 'global citizens' ....typo @yamiko. 'What's hard to understand?' Nothing, it's easy to see this country is run by racists and bigots.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are far better countries to claim refugee status in. Japan was a horrible pick by that dead man.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A sad and an unnecessary waste of life.

Medical care is the right of every human being and denying or delaying it to somebody just because he has committed an offense is not justifiable.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Typical of Japan's human rights; practically non-existent in practice when it comes to foreigners (especially "third-world"). How many dead foreigners will it take for human rights to improve and these people AT LEAST be protected while held for weeks on end?? That's what, THREE in one month?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I agree that medical care should definitely be provided 24/7 and should not be left to the immigration center authorities judgement, but I am quite satisfied with Japan general approach to illegal immigration , illegal immigration is a crime and if you feel that your stay is in fact warranted , you always have the option to fight the deportation order . Dont forget that most other civilized countries don't host illegal immigrants in actual physical facilities but open air camps incl kids and such. Japan as a society is quite concrete and they wish to preserve that, I definitely see no problem and in fact applaud that , if you wish to live here -yes a certain level of assimilation is REQUIRED. I would offcourse hope that a certain voting rights would be granted based on ones status but then again it debatable , because if you naturalize - you will get those rights which seems the correct way.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Was this story on Japanese news?

@DaDude,

Well if Japanese people don`t protest against this dispicable act they will prove to be the same as this centre.

If this guy was from a western nation the crap would hit the fan.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

-15 5petalsDec. 03, 2014 - 10:23AM JST Before we jump to any conclusions, plese consider that perhaps he was being uncooperative or beligerant. Anyway, Im sure he was too old for the work trainee program. Lets keep things in perspective.

Dude notice how you got 15 dislikes for your comment. Youre just as bad as the people who did this to the poor guy by saying something like that. How about consider maybe he was an honest man who held a good job and did it well but the only reason he was detained was probably his visa ran out and when he was busy working to pay attention, thats keeping things in perspective. Like someone said here Medical care is a Human right and No Human being in any circumstance should be refused. You saying he was told? Mate He was 57, hope you feel good about yourself for saying that and pray nothing like that happens to you or someone you love. You are just plain Nasty.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Dude notice how you got 15 dislikes for your comment. Youre just as bad as the people who did this to the poor guy by saying something like that.

Well, I guess I am going to have to take your side. All Japanese people are the same. Now I will go home and blame my wife and my kid who is 1 because they are Japanese unfortunately.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is shameful and more shameful for Japan is that NHK have ZERO news about this death!!! RIP poor Sri Lankan man.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Incorrect. NHK reported the story on its Monday night news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, I guess I am going to have to take your side. All Japanese people are the same. Now I will go home and blame my wife and my kid who is 1 because they are Japanese unfortunately.

No dont say that, I am married to a Japanese too and hve kids I wouldnt put the blame on them its not their fault. Its the system Im blaming.

yakimoDec. 03, 2014 - 07:38PM JST ""i agree with the officials. they have no duty to serve anyone who comes with no visa to japan. onces you open that door everyone keeps flooding in and the taxpayer have to pay for it. just see australia or europe... Japan is smart. show that those people are not welcomed. its japans right to do so, if you dont like it learn to love it or leave. plain and simple."

Yakimo I know youre defending your native country and I respect that but this is involving the loss of life of another human being, a Human Rights Breach. I have no respect for a society that treats people like that. As I said here before we dont know the real circumstance of the man who died, the story never says so we can never make up our own mind. Japan needs to practise Equal rights Thats a Fact. No Country wants their Citizens being treated like animals No matter what.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What if Japanese treated like that way how they can feel? RIP Fernando

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@exmatelot

I was being facetious, for all the defenders and apologist, who seem to be absent when this kind of thing happens.

Of course I find it appalling and Im sure you will never see it reported as well. Wasnt there a man from Ghana a few years ago that was beat in similar circumstances?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I was being facetious, for all the defenders and apologist, who seem to be absent when this kind of thing happens.

Of course I find it appalling and Im sure you will never see it reported as well. Wasnt there a man from Ghana a few years ago that was beat in similar circumstances?

Ah right Ok I get you, they all need to read this then. With a country thats going to host the 2020 Olympics this will look really Awesome in their CV. Wont it? 3 deaths in a months in Immigrations centre. Where is Humanity in that?

I wouldnt know about Ghananian man story as I dont live in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No one is surprised by this story. Absolutely disgusting to deny medical treatment to anyone.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Alex EinzDec. 03, 2014 - 02:59PM JST I agree that medical care should definitely be provided 24/7 and should not be left to the immigration center authorities judgement, but I am quite satisfied with Japan general approach to illegal immigration , illegal immigration is a crime and if you feel that your stay is in fact warranted , you always have the option to fight the deportation order .

The general approach to Illegal immigration? Like when I was working in a construction site with two african guys and the Japanese Home Office agents entered the site and demanded to see and find out about our visa status in Japan.Till this day I still wonder if that was done by intelligence or Just by the fact that we were all black Gaijin working in a construction site. Anyway they got nothing because we all had spouse visas and were legally allowed to be there.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“If it had been a Japanese person complaining of pain in his chest, this would never have happened.”

I dunno, I've heard horror stories ( true ) ( the stories ) of Japanese people being turned away from hospital after hospital due to lack of beds/doctors...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Serrano,

Those stories are true, I have witnessed it and Japanese can be very cold to elderly. This guy died in custody, meaning he was in the care of the state who had medical care and staff, correct? Driving around on a sunday night looking for a hospital thats open or has beds available is quite different than having a doctor on call in the area.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well if Japanese people don`t protest against this dispicable act they will prove to be the same as this centre.

Sorry but not sure about defining an entire country by one act of a few individuals but I am not you.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Such s shame, But it happens all over the world in these places. Shameful though

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“Medical care in Japan’s immigration system has long been a problem, but little improvement has been made,”

More medical care at detention centers to people who violate the immigration law? 24 hour on call doctors at site? Normal residents don't get that kind of priviledge unless they are in a hospital.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

More medical care at detention centers to people who violate the immigration law?

Its called a Human Right to give Medical care to everyone you ignorant little minded man. One Would have thought that people get educated and sympathetic towards other races of this earth after travelling and living in a foreign land as the mind gets broaden, But No You are probably worse off than you left your homeland. Have a Heart you T W A T

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Its called a Human Right to give Medical care to everyone you ignorant little minded man.

No. If this happened on a Monday, he would be given medical care.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No. If this happened on a Monday, he would be given medical care.

HUH? What are you On about now?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

More medical care at detention centers to people who violate the immigration law? 24 hour on call doctors at site? Normal residents don't get that kind of priviledge unless they are in a hospital.

Then you pick up the phone and call the emergency for ambulance to the nearest hospital. You don't let him die because he's some dark skinned Sri Lankan. Unbelievable.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Then you pick up the phone and call the emergency for ambulance to the nearest hospital. You don't let him die because he's some dark skinned Sri Lankan. Unbelievable.

Yeah. That's what the guard should of done.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Such s shame, But it happens all over the world in these places. Shameful though

Shame Aye? All over the world in what places? Shame is in that this particular story and forum is not about the rest of world or whether it happens elsewhere but Japan.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

People, this happens everywhere. And probably even more in the West, you just don't hear about it. But to label a whole country on a couple of under paid guards and an administrator is also very wrong!! As most of us who have lived and worked in Japan, there will always be a level of racial discrimination. That's part of life living in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

actually ex_matelot , if you were working at my construction site - yes I would want to inquire about your visa state. its probably the owner checking up that contractor doesnt pull cheap tricks. If my contractor would have illegal workers at my site, I would both sue the contractor and make sure the workers are arrested.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Alex EinzDec. 04, 2014 - 11:32AM JST

actually ex_matelot , if you were working at my construction site - yes I would want to inquire about your visa state. its probably the owner checking up that contractor doesnt pull cheap tricks. If my contractor would have illegal workers at my site, I would both sue the contractor and make sure the workers are arrested.

@Alex I get your point but this was not the case. The day before these Agents came around I was on my lunch break from work and was trying to get some drinks for some of the workers. Putting the money in but with nothing coming out of the machine I tried to shake it slightly thinking that it would produce what i wanted. A Japanese man passing by who wouldnt even mind asking me what had happened got on his phone to the Police to report. This same guy had just seen me put lots of money in, now he is going to be a C u n t and grass me up. The next day is when we got the Agents rolling up very early in the morning. How embarrassed do you think it felt to be asked if you have a visa infront of a lot of Japanese workers. Now the contractors mate this is something that they have done from the start and if a site owner needed to know they would phone the contractor, this Inspection by the agents with my strong suspcion was triggered by the incident that I had with the vending machine the day before.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"People, this happens everywhere. "

Where? Such a cliched or generalized answer and so very apologetic of you. Give examples or links. Yes, taser abuse happens in the US, but many times the guy being tased is being a tool, other times its just poice bullying or being racist Ive never heard of anybody seeking asylum in a 1st world country being denied medical treatment when he asked for it, in custody.. Its kind of like an unwanted dog you just want to get rid of. Pretty shameful stuff if you ask me. Sure, some countries are hit with boatloads of immigrants from Africa etc, like Italy, and perhaps some people die on those journeys. I dont think the staff can deny them medical treatment once they are detained.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Alex EinzDec. 04, 2014 - 11:32AM JST

actually ex_matelot , if you were working at my construction site - yes I would want to inquire about your visa state. its probably the owner checking up that contractor doesnt pull cheap tricks.

If you are a well prepared and organised owner of a construction site you would Really be doing checks Prior to employing a contractor if cheap tricks (as you say) are your concern. Because having the Home Office agents just showing up half way through the job and checking the contractors employees' visas are in place just shows the lack of Professionalism on both sides. Knowing how things are done in Japan, your so called valid Point is definitely not the reason. This was a tip off by the angry neighbours who probably didnt like the sight of 3 Big black foreign men doing the work in site.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

why are people here blaming the whole nation for the actions of few individuals? you are more frustrating than the incident itself. speaking as if you know every Japanese's heart. are you God? huh!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

ex matelot, no you are very wrong on this one - even reputable companies do cheap tricks, specially in this construction worker shortage.Very often house owners dont have a choice either unless they show up in the construction site uninvited, like i did

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Very often house owners dont have a choice either unless they show up in the construction site uninvited, like i did

So in your case they should be really checking for your visa wont they? Unlike you I was actually working for this company and I had been going to every gemba with them. Hence why I and the other foreigners took Great Offence at the sudden approach of the Home Office.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@CrazyJoeDEC I hope the family files a wrongful death suit against the Japanese government.

Did they cause his death?No. You shouldn't take it for granted that everyone should help you when you are in trouble. When people help you, they aren't doing what they are supposed to be doing, they are doing a good deed. Not helping is the norm, helping is not. People get so used to it that they think everyone is required to help them no matter what.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Only 6 people in a year? Doesn't Japan have labor shortage and very low birth rate? Treat them like guests.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The knowingly burden quilt these officers will carry now that they have been exposed. We all should take this a the next level...advertising: "The 2020 Olympics are here - if wrongfully detained at any immigration facility, beware of your health, you could perrish inside and no one will aide you!! Shame on You..Japan. RIp Fernando - thoughts and prayers goes out to your family and friends.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The detention in the immigration center is different from the detention in jail. In jail, there are programs like exercise and labor, etc. But in immigration center, the detainees don't have to do anything, just wait for deportation. Nothing to do may be tougher.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

“The interpreter called immigration officials, then for the first time they began to do something.

I already hated immigration, but this just put icing on the cake. The people responsible must not be allowed to make "deep apologies" and be forgiven - but must be held for criminal negligence

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites