TOKYO, April 20 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government was ordered by a Tokyo court on Thursday to pay damages to the tune of 220,000 yen (1,600 U.S. dollars) to a Kurdish man who claimed he was assaulted when forcibly restrained at a detention center in 2019.
Some actions taken by staff at an immigration center north of Tokyo in Ibaraki Prefecture were adjudged by the Tokyo District Court to be illegal, including when the man's arms were raised and handcuffed and a staff member jammed his thumb under his chin.
"They were illegal, as such actions exceeded what was deemed reasonably necessary," Presiding Judge Kenji Shinoda noted, although saying the 44-year-old Kurdish man, named Deniz, being held in isolation was lawful.
According to the complaint, Deniz, who opted to go by his first name only, was detained at the Higashi-Nihon Immigration Center in February 2017 after his application for refugee status had been denied. In 2019, Deniz, who was still detained at the center, was not given medication he asked for and shouted as a result of the stress he was feeling.
As staff at the center restrained him, Deniz maintains he was assaulted and put in solitary confinement. A staff member claimed he was kicked by the Kurdish man and that was why he was isolated. This claim is refuted by Deniz, who said he didn't attack anyone and therefore the measure was illegal.
In the suit in which Deniz was seeking damages of 11 million yen (81,700 U.S. dollars), the state submitted video evidence showing Deniz being held down by as many as six staff members as they handcuffed him behind his back.
The footage shows Deniz crying out in pain during the ordeal. ■