Family of deceased Sri Lankan woman watched video of her detention in Japan
The 27-year-old sister of a Sri Lankan woman who died while in detention in Japan said on Tuesday that she and her lawyers watched some of the surveillance camera footage of the woman’s detention in Nagoya.
They viewed the footage as part of evidence-preservation proceedings, in preparation for a lawsuit for damages against the Japanese government for the death of then-33-year-old Wishma Sandamali in March this year.
Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo, his sister, Poornima, again urged Japanese immigration authorities to disclose all images taken at the premises of the Nagoya Regional Immigration Service Bureau.
“There were some differences between the video and the report (from the Immigration Service Agency),” Poornima said. “I can’t trust them.”
According to lawyers, surveillance footage from February 22 to March 6, the day of the woman’s death, representing 33 DVDs, was kept as evidence.
Grieving family members and others viewed some of the footage at the Nagoya District Court on Friday.
Lawyers said immigration officials continued to try to feed Wishma on March 3, even though she was unable to take food by mouth.
In footage taken on March 5, a day before her death, she was seen looking up and barely moving, and she didn’t react even when an immigration official waved her hand in front of his face.
Her body did not move the next morning, but officials did not call an ambulance until the afternoon of that day.
“They didn’t call for an ambulance even though it didn’t answer. I felt anger, ”said lawyer Shoichi Ibusuki, who saw the video. “Why didn’t they take action usually taken by humans?” “
In August, the Immigration Services Agency released an investigative report admitting flaws in the medical care system and leaked some of the surveillance footage to the bereaved family.
Although the agency offered another opportunity to view the footage in September, the bereaved family missed the opportunity as the agency did not allow lawyers to be present.
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