Ghanaian death during deportation court case begins on Monday Posted November 3, 2011 by Vulnerable in Japan


An investigation into the horrific death of Ghanaian citizen Abubakar Awudu Suraj in March 2010 has been stalled by Chiba prosecutors with Japanese authorities yet to apologise or answer for his death, the Japan Times says.

Suraj was pronounced dead some six hours after he was informed of orders for his deportation back to Ghana when his motionless body was removed from a plane bound for Cairo. The death happened at the hands of immigration officers who allegedly used a brutal combination of metal hand and ankle cuffs and excessive force to suppress Suraj’s protests of deportation.

One officer took out four pairs of plastic restraints that he had bought with his own money and tied the handcuffs to his belt. Other officers gagged him so tightly with a towel (again, illegally) that his front teeth bit through the towel. One officer pushed Suraj’s neck from behind to bend his body further forward.

Despite an incriminating autopsy report which documents “abrasions to his face, internal bleeding of muscles on the neck, back, abdomen and upper arm, along with leakage of blood around the eyes, blood congestion in some organs, and dark red blood in the heart”, the official cause of death remains as “unknown”.

Suraj’s Japanese wife of 22 years continues her desperate fight for justice. She has recently filed for compensation against the government and officers involved and on 31st October released a personal statement disclosing the impact of Suraj’s death: (in Japanese).

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