Since this story has already been covered in the English language media, I’ll just provide the basic story, but this is yet another tragedy that seems like it could have been avoided.
Although no external signs that the death resulted from the detainment, the man had been handcuffed and gagged with a towel. I am not sure if this is standard operating procedure for immigration officers, but I certainly hope not.
The Ghanaian man, Abubakar Awudu Suraj, was 45 years old and reportedly resisted deportation at Narita Airport on March 22 of 2010.
Hopefully we’ll get some more information on whether the cause of death was related or not. I expect the immigration officers involved to argue that there was “no direct relationship between the restraint and the death”, that “they follows standard procedures”, or something similar. As always, I just hope the media decides to follow up on this story.
The Japan Probe blog has some news video of the story embedded here.
It’s also been reported on the GhanaWeb.com news site.