A Japanese court on Friday ordered the Tokyo metropolitan government to pay damages of around 1 million yen over the 2017 death of a Nepalese man who was forcibly restrained while in police custody.
The Tokyo District Court determined that the authorities' failure to provide Arjun Bahadur Singh with proper treatment was illegal and that his death was caused by him being inappropriately fitted with restraining devices at a police station in the capital's Shinjuku Ward.
The Metropolitan Police Department is the local police force of Tokyo, and is under the control of the Tokyo Metropolitan Public Safety Commission.
Presiding Judge Chieko Fukuda ruled that Singh's death could have been avoided if police had taken him to a hospital after removing his restraints and seeing that his hands were swollen and reddish-black.
The officer's decision to prioritize taking him to prosecutors "was an overstepping of discretionary power," Fukuda said.
Singh, then 39, was arrested on March 14, 2017, on suspicion of stealing lost property and was secured with restraining equipment that bound his hands to his stomach the following day, according to the ruling.
Some of his restraints were removed, and he was escorted to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office the same day, but he fell unconscious during interrogation. He was subsequently taken to a hospital, where he was confirmed dead.
The bereaved family had sought 61.82 million yen in damages from the metropolitan government and the state.
Yoshihito Kawakami, a lawyer representing the bereaved family, said following the ruling that "illegal use of restraints will likely continue" to be a problem after the court dismissed the family's claim that they were used in a punitive manner.
The Metropolitan Police Department said it will review the ruling before deciding how to respond.
The treatment of foreigners at the hands of authorities in Japan has garnered significant attention recently, especially after the 2021 death of Ratnayake Liyanage Wishma Sandamali, a Sri Lankan woman, while in detention at an immigration center in central Japan.© KYODO
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nepalese man ilife is worth of one million jpy?
i am speechless
Or US $7,585 at the current exchange rate. Life apparently is cheap.
Another dead while in custody?
In some case still they'll let people live only to get false accusation
Less than ten grand for a life. I guess life really is cheap in Japan.
Was the "lost property" that he supposedly stole ever found?
The courts seem to value life very little.
Imagine picking up some "lost property", the police restraining you, and your life ended in a moment.
A 1 million yen penalty will cause a modification of such dangerous actions on the part of police?
Bureaucratic and hierarchical procedures will almost always supersede compassion and common sense.
So any foreigners who happened to found lost property on the street, and got intention to return to nearest koban can be accused stealing lost property, even their intention is to return to rightful owner. However prejudice can turn really bad to any poor foreigners' life.
There’s a clear pattern of police violence and abuse here.
There is something VERY wrong with the police in Japan.
The title of this article is clearly off. It should read ”Tokyo goverment gets off with a slap on the wrist”. 1 million yen is not a penalty or a punishment.
Hello Kitty 321
Japanese law states that a foreigner who dies in custody should receive the same amount that they would in their homeland, which in the case of Nepal is ¥100,000.
Hello Kitty 321
The lost property that was found in his possession was a credit card.
guy had bad luck as was "just" a nepalese...so was treated like that.
1mil is very silly joke.
Thé lost property was someone else credit card he was having with him. A claim against the Japanese government was also filed. It was dismissed by the court and the family lawyer will appeal. Images of the guys being restrained were shown on the news.
I knew that life was cheap in Japan, but that cheap...Utterly unbelievable!
Notwithstanding the fact that there was a slate of foreigners ending up dead while in police or immigration authorities custody over the 18 years that I have been here, it's not even a "gaijin" thing: remember the Japanese guy with mental issues who died after having been strapped butt-naked on a table for several days by Japan's finest?
No accountability of the culprits, only a slap on the wrist of the institution, use of restraints which effects make them look medieval at best, etc, etc, etc. Add this to hostage justice, coerced testimonies / confessions, made-up evidence, prison cells where you can end up with frostbites in winter or heatstroke in summer, no separation of powers, a dystopian prosecution system, an increasingly outdated legal framework, etc, etc and you see how much the whole system is in dire need for reform and badly needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
I’ve had some dealings with the cops here, some clearly operate like they’re in the Yakuza
Average salary in Nepal is around $2 a day. That is about 26 years wages if he was legally living in Nepal.
Police thuggery is real, as exemplified by this article and similar ones. But the police seem to target specific people who are more vulnerable to discrimination than the general population. It is likely that the police would not have brutally assaulted and inadvertently (?) snuffed out life of the victim in question if he was caucasian.
It was found on him but no transactions had taken place.
That's 2 weeks salary if you live in US. So, a Nepalese man is worth 2 weeks of a US citizen?
We all know how the MPD and Prosecutors Office will respond, by filing an appeal which will be far more expensive for the tax payers than to just accept the decision and take steps to prevent future reccurances.
Avoid the police here no matter what.
Absurdly low amount. Probably doesn't even cover the cost of the solicitor who filed the case.
All the people who have been mistreated were from non western countries, victimized due to the lack of awareness/education.
Japanese police wouldn't dare do that to an American.
Worst police possible ever.. forced confessions on foreigners, killing foreigners in police custody, and besides this in free time up-skirts, sexual molestations.. is this really worth calling police??
Every month there is an incident when a victim asks for Japanese police help but gets killed by the person from whom the protection was requested. When it comes to Yakuza, these guys can’t even dare to speak a word !! Pathetic !!
Well said, spot on
This absolutely horrendous. How can a ruling for an incident that occurred in Japan be looked at according the rule of law in another country? It pains to see poor people being dealth with in such unconscionable manner. The incident took place in Japan but the court is limiting compensation based on Nepalese law. I can't believe that this is taking place in the 21st century. Sad to see that a country badly in need of cheap labor is exploiting the very people that they are reliant up on for the provision of such labour and that justice is out of reach for them in the law courts. The man died while in custody obviously due to negligence and no justice will be served. Very sad! Japan needs to do better. It would not be surprising to see this being dragged on further to the frustration of the family members.
Being forcibly restrained that his hands were “red and black”???
In other words, circulation was cut off to the limbs due to intense pressure;
1 million yen is pathetic. Japanese can demand at least 80 times that amount when the situation is reversed.
A clear perspective on how the Japanese government views the life of a foreigner. Not 1 million yen. AROUND 1 million yen. And this isn't the first time the government pays 99% less than the amount originally being sought for! My heart goes out to the families who were murdered by these........