A 57-year-old asylum seeker from Myanmar has died after collapsing in a Japanese immigration center in Tokyo earlier this month. The man’s relatives and witnesses at the center say that the staff failed to call for medical assistance, according to the People’s Forum on Burma, a Japan-based NGO that assists refugees from the Southeast Asian country.
Anwar Hussin was detained at the facility on October 9, and then complained of a headache the whole morning. Just when he was about to eat lunch, he collapsed in his cell. His fellow detainees alleged that they asked the staff for help because Hussin was having spasms and even vomiting. However they say that the center staff said he was just “having a seizure” and the on duty medic was still having lunch so they can’t do anything about it. It was only 51 minutes after Hussin’s collapse when a doctor was finally summoned, according to the witnesses. Four minutes later, the staff called for emergency help and he was brought to a hospital. He died from a subarachnoid haemorrhage, or a stroke, according to a spokeswoman from the Tokyo Immigration Bureau, but she neither confirmed nor denied the allegations over how long it took the staff to give medical attention.
The NGO also says that the immigration center only gave the details of the incident two days after the man’s death and only because the man’s cousin pressured them to do so. Hussin is part of the Rohingya, called one of the world’s most persecuted minorities by the United Nations. Myanmar has denied them citizenship because they are considered illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and the 800,000 Muslim Rohingya have experienced forced labor and limited access to healthcare and education. Japan has very strict restrictions on the number of immigrants and asylum-seekers that it accepts into the country. Last year, 2,545 applied for asylum, 368 of whom were from Myanmar but Japan only accepted 18 of those applications.
[via Gulf News ]
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