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Japanese Jails


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Lately, Japanese prisons get full media attention. It's about time.

Prison covers up assaults to 'rehabilitate' inmates

A senior warden at a medical prison in Aichi Prefecture "disciplined" five inmates by hitting them with a bamboo stick, it was learned Wednesday.

=> http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/news/20030205p2a00m0dm029001c.html

Japan's jails still hell holes

Despite constant international pressure, Japanese prison conditions remain as harsh as ever, as illustrated by the recent death of an inmate in Nagoya jail following the use of a restraining device, according to penal rights activists. [...] Recently five warders at the same prison were arrested for causing serious internal injuries to an inmate who had complained about earlier ill treatment by tightening the leather handcuff belt excessively.

Following a hard-hitting 1998 report by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights which said frequent use of the equipment could lead to cruel and inhumane treatment, the justice ministry issued a directive for prison warders to only use it if it was "absolutely necessary," Kaido said.

"Until then there were 2,000 cases (in which the belt was used) a year: after 1999 the number decreased to 500 to 600 a year but what happened in Nagoya prison means that the directive of the ministry did not work at all," he said.

=> Japan's jails still hell holes

Hell hole: 39 years of solitary confinement

Japan's prisons have long copped flak from Western human rights organizations, but solitary confinement in Japanese penitentiary can be a living Hell that lasts for decades and has few crueler counterparts throughout the world, according to Flash (2/18).

"Overseas, the longest a prisoner would be kept in solitary confinement would be three months and anything over a year would soon be banned, but there're at least 30 prisoners in Japanese jails who've been in solitary confinement for at least 10 years. At least one prisoner has been in there for 39 years," Yuichi Kaido, a lawyer and representative of the Prison Human Rights Center, tells Flash. "Usually, solitary confinement goes for six months, but it can be extended every three months at the discretion of the prison head."

=> http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/waiwai/0302/0206hellhole.html

Related: death row

How long must the guilty wait to hang? - For Japan's oldest death row inmate, execution has meant life in prison

=> http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20030201b3.htm
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