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SOCIETY > Human Rights

Immigration center sets up security cameras in changing rooms

  • September 24, 2018
  • , Tokyo Shimbun , p. 23
  • JMH Translation

Higashi-Nihon Immigration Center (Ushiku City, Ibaraki Prefecture), which accommodates foreigners ordered to leave the country, had set up security cameras in the changing rooms of the shower facilities for inmates, sources informed Tokyo Shimbun. The center explains that the cameras are intended to deter frequent acts of destruction in the facilities. But there has been criticism that monitoring places where people undress constitutes a violation of privacy.

 

According to the center and a support group for foreigners, the center has set up video cameras in the hallways and the changing rooms of multiple shower facilities since June and started to film inmates coming in and out of the shower booths.

 

A staffer of the center says: “Acts of destruction are not tolerated, because they constitute criminal damage and also from the perspective of maintaining order. We don’t watch the footage unless we detect acts of destruction or other abnormalities in consideration of privacy.” The staffer added that the center removed cameras from the facilities where no acts of destruction were confirmed.  As of Sept. 21, all 340 inmates are male. But the center says that it did not take gender into consideration when it made the decision to install cameras and that it will consider setting up cameras even in the case of female inmates. According to a person who supports inmates, frustration is mounting among them and they are saying, “It’s humiliating to be filmed naked.” (Abridged)

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