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Sri Lankan family: Papers were mostly blacked out

  • August 17, 2021
  • English Press

The family of a Sri Lankan woman who died in an immigration detention facility in Japan say documents connected to her death that were disclosed at their request were largely blacked out.


Wishma Sandamali, who was 33, had been detained for overstaying her visa. She began complaining of ill health in January and died two months later in the facility in Nagoya, central Japan.


At a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday, her family and their lawyer said they applied in May to the Nagoya Regional Immigration Services Bureau for the disclosure of relevant administrative documents.


They said that most of the 15,000 sheets of documentation disclosed on August 2 were blacked out, including entries in daily logs kept by facility officials and the medical records of the detained woman.


Wishma’s younger sister Poornima said that the blacked-out papers made it impossible for her to place any faith in a final report on the matter released by the Immigration Services Agency last week. The report acknowledged that the Nagoya facility lacked a system for providing proper medical care to detainees.


During that week, the family were also given access to an edited video showing their loved one in the facility.


The family’s lawyer, Ibusuki Shoichi, said that the redacted documents show the agency reflexively tries to cover up improprieties, and this is also true of its response to their request for video disclosure.


He went on to say that they will continue to demand that the unexpurgated video and documents be shown to them.

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