We have gone to the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC six times to demand that Japan set the correct precedent by freeing Jamal Saberi, recognizing his refugee status, and providing him with the necessary protections to preserve his life in Japan.
We told Japan that we would not leave its doorstep til Jamal was free. And we meant it. Japan, however, has failed to respond to the demands of the international community – and its legal obligations – in an appropriate fashion.
They may have delayed his deportation for now, but Jamal remains in detention and at risk for deportation at any moment. (Last month, 3 people died in the detention center that Jamal is staying in.)
We know how Japan’s system works: they allow some asylum seekers to remain in the country, but without legal status and therefore completely vulnerable to deportation at any moment: the grey zone. This consigns the asylum-seeker to another kind of torture – the torture of perpetual insecurity. This is inhumane and unacceptable by any standard. Yet Jamal has been surviving in the grey zone in Japan for 20 YEARS.
Our demand was for Jamal to be granted his rightful refugee status, and we will not go home until that happens. We wll continue to shed light on the reprehensible practices of the Japanese immigration authorities until all those seeking asylum in Japan are assured of humane treatment.
Mission Free Iran is therefore organizing another protest in front of the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC on Sunday May 9 at 1pm.
We demand that Japan move Jamal and all other refugees OUT of the grey zone where they have no legal status.
Japan must immediately make clear that Jamal will not be returned to the murdering Islamic Republic, and we will continue to drive this message home on the front lawn of Japan’s Embassy until they act in accordance with their own laws and the laws and standards ageed to by the international community.