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A Formal Objection, Requesting that the Transfer of an African
Refugee to Omura is Reconsidered and Appealing for his Provisional Release
|A Formal Objection, Requesting that the Transfer of an African Refugee
to Omura is Reconsidered and Appealing for his Provisional Release
March 13th 2015
|On the 12th of March 2015, the Osaka Immigration Bureau transferred an
African refugee whom RAFIQ is supporting to the Omura Immigration Center,
in Omura City, Nagasaki Prefecture. We request that this transfer is reconsidered,
and that this refugee is granted provisional release.
We applied for this detainee to be provisionally released in January, but
the application was rejected. The reason for this rejection was not made
public. He has already been detained for over seven months. If he is provisionally
released in Omura, he will have to pay for his own transportation to Osaka.
- The transferred detainee is applying for refugee status, and has a right
to meet his supporters and his lawyer. This right is being infringed upon.
The refugee in question was detained at the airport upon arrival in Japan,
and knows no one in the country. As such, he himself must demonstrate that
he is a genuine refugee. He cannot do this while he is detained in an immigration
centre. He already has a lawyer in Osaka, and is being supported by RAFIQ.
His transfer to Omura is going to have a negative effect on the refugee
application process. His right to access his lawyer and his supporter,
as well as to obtain various types of support, are being infringed.
- The detention facilities at the Osaka Immigration Bureau are already being
used as long term detention facilities.
Some detainees have been held at the Osaka Immigration Bureau for over
six months. It is therefore quite clearly already being used as a long-term
What's more, the Osaka Immigration Bureau has the capacity to hold 200
detainees, but fewer than 100 people are currently being held there.
- Transferring detainees to Omura is expensive.
According to a previous detainee who was transferred to Omura, the journey
was made by Shinkansen. The cost of a single ticket Shinkansen ticket to
Omura is ¥17,210. A detainee would also have had a minimum of two guards
with him - the return tickets for these two would come to ¥68,480. The
total cost of the transferring a detainee would therefore come to ¥85,600.
There is no need to spend so much money on transferring a detainee when
there is already spare capacity at the Osaka Immigration Bureau.
- As an applicant for refugee status, he should be granted a prompt provisional
The practice of issuing refugees with a deportation order and then detaining
them at the Immigration Bureau is a violation of article 33 of the Convention
Relating to the Status of Refugees (the Non-Refoulment Principle), and
has been repeatedly criticised by international human rights groups.
We therefore request for this detainee to be returned to Osaka, and to
be provisionally released here.
RAFIQ (The Network that Promotes Co-Existence with Refugees in Japan)