Suffering Of Ethiopians Asylum Seeker in Japan Part One – Seregela_1
Running away from persecution many have swelled the ranks of the international displaced due to war and famine. The whole tragic episode has triggered a new wave of exodus of the countries educated elite. Flight of professionals and civil servants has reached a new height with defection of Ethiopians experts, diplomats, senior judges, government and private journalists, military officers and member and supporters of opposition parties’ business men to different countries.
The real life stories of Ethiopian asylum seekers in Japan are disturbing. Hearing or reading about the most painful or traumatic experiences of Ethiopia asylum seekers who were deeply wounded was to heavy a load for me to bear, however I took it as one of my major aim to make know the sufferings of refuges in Japan to the rest of the world. I decided to bring the hidden truth to light. Communication is not just the matter of words or sentences, sometimes you don’t understand what about are talked or write about unless you are familiar with the situation. I have a firm conviction that the truth will reveal it self and that *whatever is now covered up will be uncovered and every secret will be made known* (Mathew 10-26).
We leaned some incredible facts about Japan’s refugee policies and serious problems comforting Ethiopian asylum seekers in the country. We learned how inhumane Japan’s system is and how the country only recognized a handful of applicants for asylum each year. Almost 100% Ethiopian asylum seekers application was turned down. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20070313i1.html ,
The lack of condemnation and resolute action from the west against the most egregious crimes committed by the security forces of Prim Minister Meles Zenawi has only emboldened him to commit even more horrendous crimes.
The state department report of 2006-2008 Amnesty International, Human Right Watch, CPJ, IFJ and Reporters with out Boarders have extensively reported that the catalogue of gross human rights abuses committed by the regime.
In an open letter Genocide watch president Dr. Gregory Stanton wrote to the commissioner, he commended the International Criminal Court (ICC) for indication the Sudanese President, Omar Hussan Al Bashir, but noted that “One of first leaders to defend Omar Al Bashir and condemn the worries was Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia whose government has also been implicated in a pattern of widespread perpetration of serious human rights atrocities in Ethiopia and in Somalia.
Human Rights watch and other independent Organizations recently reported that thousands of innocent Ethiopians are incarcerated in precious set up in different parts of the counties for just opposing the ruling party while those living outside prison gates are not allowed to exercise their universal right of speech assembly and elect their leaders. However, membership of the ruling party has become a condition for rights to college education, scholarship program and job opportunities.
In a country with more than 6 million people requiring emergency aid, food aid is being used as political instrument to starve people indeed who fight for their basic rights but oppose the regime in power. The recent draconian civics society law which punishes dissent and bill restriction the activities of charity organization (both local and foreign) are designed to silence independent voices from reporting repressive activities of the regime and the plight of innocent citizens. This is a regime heavily involved in controversial rendition activities and detention of foreign citizens in subhuman conditions on its soil in name of supporting anti-terrorism.
As you know very well the procedure of recognition for refugee status in the world is the agreement of international organization which is basically United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR). As you know very well again, Japan has signed UN convention and declared that accepting refugees since 1982 and has accepted very few people.
Japan is not the country only recognizing people Japan have very different refugee low than other countries. They are very roughs and applying very harsh and cruel system to the refugee.
They are really breaking the international refugee’s law. Now we are going to explain and remind you the rules and regulation which are unfairly applying to us.
Some of the Ethiopians who are living in Japan have been detained and been kept in immigration detention center which is absolutely worse than a prison. Ethiopian refugees have been arrested and kept in detention centers more than a year for nothing. Especially, people who are in East Japan Ushiku Immigration Center they are really under continuous physical and emotional pressure their health and safety extremely in danger. There is no enough medical doctors working for detention and they have one medical doctor who is unqualified and looks after all detainees. So Japanese immigration authorities declares that to international refugee organizations, the detention center is a refugee camp and it has been known by all refugees’ organizations in the world as a refugee camp but it is not and it is totally different.
Some of the Ethiopian refugees have got very huge problem about health and safety in the detention center so they are also giving unknown medicine to refugees’ detainees and keep detainees a sleep and feel them faint. This sort of problems has been justified by the special hospitals. Basically immigration authorities giving wrong medication to the refugee detainees and those wrong medications creates so many problems especially create stomach ache and kidneys.
We are sincerely asking you these couple of questions
1. Can qualified medical doctor give a sleep medicine to person who has stomach ache? There is another strange event which is you may not believe it, but it is completely true.
2. Can officer of the detention center let the patient to take the unknown medicine choosing by the color?
3. Can officer give the head ache medicine to the person who has Romanism?
Actually there are so many things need to be written what’s happening in Japanese immigration centers to refugees and how the immigration’s rule and regulation applies to the innocent refugees. But we will mention after this letter. Basically East Japan immigration centre is really hell and worse than prison. We would like to mention that the foods are very old and most of corrosion and of time they give smelly fish and uncooked chicken.
Of course, now some Ethiopian asylum seekers are out of prison physically but still feel incarcerated emotionally and mentally. In detention center asylum seekers were locked in handcuffs with a strap tied to their waist. They looked like criminals and they were treated like criminals. Some asylum seekers never allowed leaving the room more than twenty hours; they crammed in the room with no chance enough exercise. The size of the rooms is 9 meter by 18 meter. In this room 10-15 asylum seekers crammed together. Similar nationality asylum seekers are not allowed to be in the same room.
Asylum seekers could only leave the room if some one came to visit them, but visiting time is limited 15 minutes. The partition glass makes it impossible for any one to kiss, hug or shake hands. Living in the detention facilities is, in short, a zoo. And its detainees are animals because everything worked like clockwork. Time to wake, eat, exercise, shower, make phone calls and turn out the lights was set. Perhaps dogs today are treated more humanely than the refugees in Japanese detention centers. When the time comes, they are rushed back to them room and the door is locked. This is exactly like the daily route of a zoo. Life is there dull, monotonous routine.
Even if some Ethiopian asylum seekers are lucky enough to be granted provisional release from arresting, they are forbidden, which makes it impossible to make a living. They are never free from the fear of detention and deportation. If they should be deported, their lives would certainly be in danger. What is the meaning of our lives which have been spent in fear of arrest, detention and deportation with all human rights denied?
As we Ethiopians lives in Japan have been applied for Refugee status for several years many Ethiopians people has logged the application for Refugee status in Japan, during this several years only one Ethiopian has been accepted as a refugee by the Japanese immigration authorities.
These days millions of Ethiopian people have been immigrated to the western countries, included Asia and other countries due to the gross human right violation of the governments which are ruled their home country and almost all of them have been recognized as a refugee where they went and applied for refugee status, except Japan.
We would like to add this matter, we are really very concern about our women and their dearest human being. As far as we know that no body did hand cuff to our refugee woman in the world and no body detained for a years. But Japanese immigration authorities did it and they are
still doing it.
Honestly speaking with out any crime we are living test less life in Japan. No hope, no future, nothing at all As we Ethiopians in Japan really and urgently need help and support of UNHCR and others refugee organization help and support to stop this Japanese immigrations physiological torture on us and other refugees.
We would like to also call for humanitarian to take an action against this Japanese immigration, tragedy on refugees. We are aware and know that the UNHCR is the one stop this and establish better way for us and our freedom and let us to live as a free and peaceful.
The author can be reached @ firstname.lastname@example.org