HomeLatestEnding Japan's 'Hostage Justice' System

Ending Japan’s ‘Hostage Justice’ System

Today, Human Rights Watch and Innocence Project Japan, a Japanese nongovernmental group, launched a joint venture to finish the apply of “hostage justice” in Japan. The venture will advocate with policymakers for authorized reform and inform public opinion by way of occasions and discussions.

In Japan, felony suspects face extreme abuses in pretrial detention. Authorities routinely strip them of their proper to stay silent, interrogate them with no lawyer, coerce them to admit to crimes by way of repeated arrests, and deny them bail – leading to detention for extended durations beneath fixed surveillance in police stations. More than 99 % of trials lead to convictions.

Shinobu Yamagishi, the founder and former President of Pressance Corporation Co., a serious Japanese actual property firm, is among the many few which have been acquitted.

Yamagishi was arrested in December 2019 and prosecuted for company embezzlement. Japanese regulation permits for the detention of suspects for as much as 23 days earlier than indictment. Detainees aren’t allowed to request bail for the interval and are subjected to interrogation all through. While Yamagishi maintained his innocence, his workers and enterprise accomplice in custody didn’t. After days of intimidation, threats, and verbal abuse by prosecutors, the prosecutors finally made them signal “confessional” statements saying Yamagishi was concerned within the company embezzlement.

After indictment, Yamagishi utilized for bail, however his utility was rejected six instances. Courts routinely deny bail throughout trial for individuals who don’t confess. “It was a very hard 248 days mentally, thinking that the only way to get out of here was to make a false confession,” Yamagishi advised us. It took him two years to clear his identify, and within the course of he misplaced his firm.

The abusive practices of Japan’s “hostage justice” system have resulted in hundreds of lives and households being torn aside yearly, in addition to wrongful convictions. The Japanese authorities urgently must undertake wide-ranging reforms in order that detainees’ rights to a good trial are ensured, and to make investigators and prosecutors extra accountable for his or her actions.

Source: Human Rights Watch