Two foreign detainees died while in the custody of Japan’s immigration center over the weekend in two separate incidents. The Ministry of Justice’s Higashi-Nihon Immigration Control Center in Ibaraki Prefecture reported that an Iranian man choked on his food on Friday, while a Cameroonian national was found unconscious and declared dead at the hospital.
A spokeswoman said that a 33-year-old Iranian suddenly choked on his dinner while at the immigration center on Friday night. He was rushed to the hospital for treatment for died the next day. She also reported that on Sunday morning, the 43-year-old Cameroonian man was found unconscious in his detention cell. Officials tried to give him a cardiac massage while waiting for the ambulance, but doctors declared him dead an hour afterwards at the hospital. The detainee had been complaining about his health on Thursday and was moved to a private cell after seeing a doctor. No cause of death has been ruled yet for both men and the bodies will undergo autopsies to determine exactly why they died.
Human rights activists have long deplored the poor conditions at Japan’s immigration detention centers. There have also been several allegations of mistreatment and rough handling by officials at the centers. In October 2013, an asylum-seeker from Myanmar belonging to the Rohingya ethnic group, suddenly collapsed and died while at the Ushiku immigration center. Witnesses said the staff did not call for medical attention because the doctor was eating lunch, resulting in the death of the detainee.
[ via Mainichi ]