Nigerian dies of starvation in Japanese detention

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An unnamed Nigerian has died of starvation at a detention facility in southern Japan.

Japanese immigration authorities made the announcement on Tuesday.


“An autopsy has found the man died of starvation,” an official at the Immigration Services Agency said.

The agency said the man lost over 13 kilogrammes (28.7 pounds) in three weeks before officials noticed he was on a hunger strike.

The man in his forties, whose name has been withheld, died on June 24 after falling unconscious at Omura Immigration Center and was taken to a hospital in southern Japan.

He had been on a hunger strike for at least three weeks to protest his detention for over three years, lawyers said.

According to the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, this is the 14th death in Japanese immigration detention facilities since 2007.

Immigration authorities said the Nigerian entered the country in 2000 and was convicted of crimes including theft.

It also said he was released from jail on parole in 2015 but was moved to a detention facility in western Japan’s Osaka where he received an extradition order.

The man had been detained at the Omura centre since 2016.


The agency said officials were unable to deport the Nigerian without his consent as they were still negotiating with Nigerian counterparts over deportation procedures.

It added that the man had overstayed his visa and had also been sentenced to more than five years in prison for violating laws related to drugs and theft — the reason why he could not be released.