Wednesday 30 June 2010

News about Jamal in June

Jamal is still being held in detention and has applied for his release from detention a while ago. He is still waiting to hear...

In the meantime an Iranian newspaper is being delivered to Jamal in his cell in the detention centre, apparently from the Islamic regime's embassy in Tokyo. As Jamal had never asked for it he enquired with the authorities who said that all Iranian refugees are being send this newspaper. However when Jamal asked other Iranian detainees none of them has been receiving the newspaper. Jamal wonders whether this 'special treat' is some kind of message for him? How can the Iranian embassy staff in Tokyo know who is in detention in Tokyo in the first place?

Maybe because just as in 2004 when Jamal was also held in detention the Japanese authorities had passed on the details of Iranian asylum seekers to the Iranian authorities who had come to visit them in the detention centre. It is incomprehensible why anyone who has fled from a country and applied for asylum would want to see representatives of the very government they are fleeing from. Furthermore and worringly so, the Japanese authorities hand over personal details of asylum seekers to the Iranian authorities instead of protecting them. This must be a break of the law and people's rights on various levels. Then, without anywhere to go they are being forced to endure a visit by the very people they had fled from. Needless to say that with names, birth dates, background information and relatives' details the Iranian regime has more than enough to continue persecuting asylum seekers and their families, inside and outside of Iran. I wonder whether the Japanese authorities understand the idea behind asylum or whether they think their relationship with the Islamic regime of Iran is more important? And did Japan really think no one is going to find out?

Monday 28 June 2010

I am refugee - I am not criminal! Give back our family/friends

These were the slogans of a demonstration in Tokyo against the Japanese Immigration Bureau on the International Day of the Refugee on 20 June. It was organised by various groups and was so far the biggest protest yet in support of human rights for the refugees that are being held in the detention centres. The struggle of support groups, friends and families to get refugees out of the detention centres and to improve their overall situation continues. It received quite a bit of attention from the media as well.

Here are two videos from the rally

From the Documentary Workshop in Japan, Our Planet TV, watch here