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A Ghanaian Prince Dies In Custody of Japanese Immigration

I have been tracking this story wondering how it would play out. The widow of Awudu Samad Abubakar spoke at The Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan on April 20, 2010. I believe that this will shed light on the death of her husband and her subsequent lawsuit.

Here is a blurb from Ghana Web reporting the death of Awudu Samad Abubakar:

The family of a Ghanaian prince from a royal home up north, who died in the custody of Japanese Immigration, is calling for full investigations into how their son died, since they believe that he was killed by the authorities in Japan!

Additionally they have called for a repatriation of the body to Ghana as well as full compensation for the killing, if it is established that he died unlawfully.

In an interview with members of his family in Accra yesterday, March 29, 2010, they said that Awudu Samad Abubakar, popularly known as ‘Mac Barry’ was a resident of Japan, and died in the capital town of Japan; Tokyo, while under the detention of the Japanese immigration on Sunday, 21st March, 2010.

Mac Barry, who would have turned 46 in October this year, was arrested by the Immigration on his way to work from his residence in Tokyo almost a year now. He was sent to the Japanese National Airport at Tokyo last week Sunday to be deported to Ghana, but the attempted repatriation was stopped when flight officials saw how weak the victim was.

The pilot on board the Egypt Air Flight, which was to carry Mc Barry to Ghana upon realising that he was dead, rejected the request of the Japanese Immigration even when they insisted that the remains of Mac Barry should be repatriated.

The Immigration managed to forge an International Travel Certificate (ITC) to enable them transport him without the knowledge of the Ghanaian Embassy in Japan.

At present, all his travelling and other documents are in the hands of the Japanese Immigration and but for the help of the Egyptian Air Pilot and Mac Barry Japanese wife, nobody would have known about his death.

Although I am looking for additonal sources to fact check some of the information on Ghana Web, one thing is certain… people are mad, tossing blame and questioning why the family in Ghana is asking for money instead of calling for justice?!

[Via the Japan Times, Minoru Matsutani] “The Japanese wife of a Ghanaian who died last month while he was being deported for overstaying his visa called Tuesday on police and the Immigration Bureau to disclose exactly how he died.

The Chiba police are questioning about 10 immigration officers and crew of Egypt Air, Kodama quoted a Chiba prosecutor as saying. Police said March 25 the cause of death was unclear after an autopsy. Kodama said a more thorough autopsy is being performed.

Suraj’s wife is considering suing the government, but she and Kodama are holding off pending further evidence of malpractice by immigration officers. “Lawyers have no authority to collect evidence, and thus we have to wait for police to disclose evidence,” he said.

According to Mayumi Yoshida, the assistant general secretary of Asian People’s Friendship Society, she and Suraj’s wife went to the Justice Ministry, which oversees the Immigration Bureau, on March 25 to ask the ministry for details of how Suraj died. Yoshida quoted a ministry official as saying immigration officers “seem to have used a towel for (Suraj’s) mouth and a handcuff.” “That is all we know” about how Suraj died, she said.”

Suraj came to Japan on a temporary visa, which expired in 15 days, in May 1988, according to Yoshida. He was arrested on suspicion of staying illegally in September 2006, and received a deportation order in November that year. The same month, his wife registered their marriage. In February 2008, the Tokyo District Court ruled the deportation order be waived. But in March 2009, the Tokyo High Court repealed the district court’s ruling on grounds the couple was childless and the wife was economically independent, Yoshida said.

Rest the rest of the story via the Japan Times.


Note: Debito has been tracking this story and has additional commentary.


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3 Comments

  1. zurui zurui April 24, 2010

    My comment in response to a reader on the Debitio.org Blog:

    Zurui Says: April 25th, 2010 at 3:00 am

    [A comment to BT from a Debito.org reader]“I think Black Tokyo might need a recalibration of their perception of reality. It’s always sad when this sort of exaggeration of the facts to try to jerk an emotional response happens because it takes away from the real tragedy of his death and the very real possibility that there was foul play involved.”

    [Zurui] The source [Ghana Web, http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/diaspora/artikel.php?ID=179482%5D article was posted because it, and the 199 comments, provide you with information not found in Japanese news and gives the critical reader insight to life, thoughts and feelings in McBarry’s homeland.

    As reported in the Japan Times, “The Chiba police are questioning about 10 immigration officers and crew of Egypt Air, Kodama quoted a Chiba prosecutor as saying. Police said March 25 the cause of death was unclear after an autopsy. Kodama said a more thorough autopsy is being performed.” What reason would the wife have to accept the body of her husband if an “official” investigation is being conducted. Remember that “Lawyers have no authority to collect evidence, and thus they have to wait for police to disclose evidence.” Accepting the body for burial or cremation clears a murky case in my opinion

    As stated on BT: “Although I am looking for additonal sources to fact check some of the information on Ghana Web, one thing is certain… people are mad, tossing blame and questioning why the family in Ghana is asking for money instead of calling for justice?!”

    BT is not exaggerating facts, only reporting what other news sources (Ghana Web and the Japan Times) released and as stated, looking for “additional sources to fact check the information.” Reporting the rest or another side of story is very important!

    BTW, I stuck on stupid with the courts ruling: In February 2008, the Tokyo District Court ruled the deportation order be waived. But in March 2009, the Tokyo High Court repealed the district court’s ruling on grounds the couple was childless and the wife was economically independent, Yoshida said.”

    It’s been “factually” reported that:

    1. “Suraj came to Japan on a temporary visa, which expired in 15 days, in May 1988, according to Yoshida.” [ILLEGAL]
    2. “He was arrested on suspicion of staying illegally in September 2006, and received a deportation order in November that year.” [LEGAL]
    3. “The same month, his wife registered their marriage.” [ILLEGAL or LEGAL?]
    4. “In February 2008, the Tokyo District Court ruled the deportation order be waived.” [I wonder under what grounds?]
    5. “In March 2009, the Tokyo High Court repealed the district court’s ruling on grounds the couple was childless and the wife was economically independent.” [WTF!]

    As Debito correctly stated: “So if they had children and she was a dependent housewife, then he could have stayed in Japan? Their marriage counts for nothing otherwise? Not sure I get it.”

    So did the Tokyo High Court find a sham marriage? Did the Court believe the couple married for no other reason than a Japanese national providing a means for a person on an expired visa to stay in the county? Did the Court find the marriage not based on love or wanting to create a family unit (if medically possible)? Did the Court rule that all self-sufficient, childless Japanese women married to NJ’s risk having their non-bread winner deported?

    No news here folks! R.I.P. McBarry, you and your wife deserve(d) better!

    Zurui

  2. Kwaku Kwaku May 12, 2010

    I know my comment on this is late but i still want to do it.

    First of all my sympathy goes to his wife and Family,and may he Rest In Peace, either in a Japanese cemetery or Ghana!

    I think everyone needs to take a good lessons from this, whilst i believe Africans are not the only ones who overstay their visas, i also believe that it is we who do it most.

    I have always taken the opportunity to advice friends and relations and anybody i get the chance of talking to not to overstay his/her visa.

    Overstaying your visa degrades your ability to judgement based on common sense.
    It also renders you worthless as you are left at the rough hands of the Immigration officials and police of that country, and poor you if you are not in a good place.

    I see no reason why we should betray the trust of the officials who granted you the needed visa for whatever purpose you intend to embark on.

    Its a basic fact also that, overstaying your visa does not only affect you , but it also affects several applicants back in your home country.

    I think one of the main reasons why Africans are losing respect overseas is due to some of these issues like overstay.

    We as Africans should therefore take pride by honoring where we come from by respecting our visa conditions and living by the rules of where we are.

    Kwaku Owusu

  3. Kirsten Brown Kirsten Brown April 21, 2011

    This is sad. I hope this case will be resolved. The Government should help deliver justice not cloak it.

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