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Indian man dies in Japanese immigration detention centre in apparent suicide

Man, in his 30s, was believed to have spent 10 months at the centre. Japan’s detention system has been widely criticised over medical standards, monitoring of detainees and mental health care.

world Updated: Apr 13, 2018 17:43 IST
Reuters, Tokyo
Japan,immigration detention centre,mental health care
Some 14 people have died in Japan’s immigration detention centres since 2006. As of Friday, Japan’s 17 immigration detention facilities held 1,317 people, said the justice ministry.(Reuters/Picture for representation)

An Indian man died on Friday at a Japanese immigration detention centre in an apparent suicide, the latest death in a system widely criticised over medical standards, monitoring of detainees and mental health care.

Guards at the facility found the man, who was in his 30s, in a shower room with a towel wrapped around his neck, the East Japan Immigration Centre said in a statement.

The man, who was not breathing at the time, was administered cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before being taken to hospital, where he was declared dead about an hour later.

The cause of death has not been confirmed but was thought to be suicide, said centre spokesman Daisuke Akinaga, who declined to identify the man. He said police were investigating.

Kimiko Tanaka, an activist who works with detainees at the centre, said the man had been denied release on Thursday. He had been detained in Japan for around 10 months, she said, citing a detainee on the same block as the source of the information.

Akinaga, the spokesman, declined to comment on the man’s detention history.

The death took the toll in Japan’s immigration detention system to 14 since 2006. Four of those, apart from the most recent, were suicides.

Japan’s 17 immigration detention facilities held 1,317 people as of Friday, says the justice ministry, which oversees them.

A government watchdog, activists and lawyers have criticised the detention centres over the treatment of detainees, medical care and how guards respond to medical emergencies.

Last year, a Vietnamese detainee who died at the same centre, northeast of Tokyo, was shown by a government report to have been left lying on the floor for hours before guards called an ambulance.

First Published: Apr 13, 2018 16:18 IST