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Emergency Rally To Defend Kurdish&Iranian Refugees

Thursday, February 03, 2005
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Event Type:
U.S.-Japan Coalition
Location Details:
50 Fremont is near Mission St and across the street from the Transbay Terminal

Stop Illegal Deportation of Kurdish Refugees In Japan
Defend Kurdish and Iranian Refugees In Japan
Emergency Protest Picket
Thursday February 3, 2005 3:00-4:30 PM

Japanese Consulate San Francisco
50 Fremont St./Mission St. San Francisco
California, USA

At the same time that the Koizumi government is violating the Japanese Constitution Clause 9 by sending troops to Iraq to supposedly "protect freedom", it is illegally deporting Kurdish political refugees in Japan back to Turkey. On Tuesday January 18, Kurdish refugees Ahmet Kazankiran and his son, Ramazan, were literally pushed on a plane and deported from Japan despite the fact that Japan is a signatory country the U.N. Convention Relating To The Status of Refugees. The rest of their family and other refugees are also threatened with deportations. The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has described the deportations as "contrary to Japan's obligations under international law" and said it contradicts the humanitarian aid Japan extends to refugees and disaster survivors abroad.
It seems the Japanese "war government" of Koizumi while it illegally is sending troops to Iraq to carry out the wishes of the Bush administration has little concern about violating the rights of Kurdish immigrants who are subject to persecution in Turkey for supporting the independence of Kurdistan.
Kazankiran came to Japan after he took part in a campaign seeking Kurdish independence in Turkey. He and his son held a sit-in protest in front of the United Nations University in Tokyo last year after Japan refused to grant him refugee status.
The Koizumi government is also seeking to illegally militarize the country and repress all democratic and labor rights. Teachers in Tokyo are now being suspended and fired for refusing to sing nationalist pro-war songs. The government has also passed so called "anti-terrorism" laws modeled on the US "Patriot Act" legislation that is now being used to harass and illegally arrest trade unionists and other anti-war activists in Japan.
Recently the Japanese police arrested union TAKE Ken'ichi, President of Kan-Nama, TAKEYA Shingo, Executive Board Member of Kan-Nama of the(Solidarity Union of Japan Construction and Transport Workers Kansai Area Branch) and carried out an raid on the union headquarters and 30 union members' homes in Osaka.
The Koizumi government is also attempting to censor the news. Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Shoichi Nakagawa and former Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe have sought to censor NHK producers from exposing the use of "comfort women" by the Japanese government. They want to cleanse their government's previous war crimes so they can get on with carrying out the militarization of Japan.
We demand that all deportations of refugees and immigrants in Japan be halted. We call on the Japanese people to investigate the violation of refugee and democratic rights by the Koizumi government and to call for the resignation of this government for continual violation of all democratic, labor and refugee rights.

Please send letters of protest to the Consulate General in SF at 50 Fremont St. SF and the press in Japan
In San Francisco, the consulate phone number is (415)777-3533
To Fax or Email Japan
Japanese Ministry of Justice FAX: 03 - 3592 - 7393 e-mail:
Tokyo entry Bureau of Administrative Services (Shinagawa) retreat execution section
Telephone: 03 - 5796 - 7122 (direct)
FAX: 03 - 5796 - 7125

Japan Support Group For The Kazankiran Family

US-Japan Coalition To Protest the Illegal Deportation of Kurdish Refugees In Japan And For The Defense Of Democratic Rights

Endorsed by
(initial list)
Middle East Radio Project (MERP), Jack Heyman, ILWU Exeuctive Board Member, Labor Action Coalition, American Kurdish Information Network, Attorney Karen Parker, Peace And Freedom Party San Francisco, Carl Bryant NALC 214

For Information contact 925-327-0001

Five Kurdish refugees may be sent to a third country

Staff writer

Japan might send five United Nations-recognized Kurdish asylum-seekers
to a third country after it deported two members of the family back to
Turkey last week, Justice Minister Chieko Noono said Tuesday.

At a morning news conference following the day's Cabinet meeting, the
minister said she thought it was "natural" to consider the idea.

The Immigration Bureau deported 49-year-old Ahmet Kazankiran and his son
Ramazan, 21, to Turkey on Jan. 18. But on Monday, it extended the
provisional releases of the remaining five family members.

Noono said the bureau's decision Monday was made based on humanitarian
grounds, including the fact that there were underage children involved.

In an unusual move later Tuesday, the Justice Ministry made public a
written statement sent to the Japan office of the U.N. High Commissioner
for Refugees, in which it presented its counter-argument to the U.N.
body's criticism of the father and son's deportation.

On the day the two men were deported, the UNHCR slammed the action as
going against Tokyo's obligations under international law.

In the statement, the ministry says that ever since the Kazankirans were
recognized as "mandate refugees" by the UNHCR, it has repeatedly told
the body it would be willing to cooperate if the organization was
planning to send the family to a third country.

But the UNHCR repeatedly said that having the family resettle in a third
country was extremely difficult and only continued to ask the ministry
to give the family special residence permits, according to the ministry

The ministry also said that it would "use this opportunity to tell the
UNHCR that the ministry is prepared to cooperate if the UNHCR is
planning on immediately sending other 'mandate refugees' to a third

UNHCR officials declined to comment on the ministry's statement.

The Kazankirans, for their part, indicated that they have all but given
up their hope of living in Japan as refugees.

"We want to move to a third country, not just the five of us, but
together with my father and brother," Kazankiran's 18-year-old son,
Mustafa, said.

"We were recognized as refugees by the U.N., but the Japanese government
deported my father and brother," he told The Japan Times. "We cannot
live in a country that does not obey (international) law."
Shame on the Koizumi Government!

by Reza Fiyouzat <>

The Japanese Prime Minister has brought his nation to a new low in the realm of international relations. Even as the Koizumi government lobbies nation after nation to support

Japan's bid for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council, the Japanese immigration authorities on Tuesday, January 18, summarily deported two Kurdish refugees from Turkey back to that country.

According to Indymedia Japan of January 18, 2005, „A Kurdish father and his son, who are recognized as mandate refugees by UNHCR, were today deported to Turkey from Narita Airport near Tokyo, at 14:25 (Japan time), in spite of the possibility of threats to their lives in Turkey.‰

„Cries and screams broke out in a room at the Tokyo Bar Association as the message came through that Ahmet Kazankiran, 48, and his eldest son, Ramazan, 20, had been forced onto the plane. The news was received during a press conference held by the remaining members of the deportees' family and another Kurd family facing deportation, and supporters and one of their lawyers,‰ reported The Japan Times, Jan 19, 2005.

The lawyer for the family, Takeshi Ohashi, said, „It is extremely rare for anyone to be deported so soon after detention,‰ (The Japan Times online, Jan 19, 2005). The article characterized the proceedings by the Justice Ministry as, „Acting with uncharacteristic speed.‰ According to the newspaper, on Monday morning the father and son went to the Immigration Bureau in Tokyo to apply for an extension of their status as refugees. Instead of any such extension, „Before noon, it was announced that the two were being detained. The next day, they were deported.‰

More disturbing is the fact that the government did not even feel the compulsion to postpone such a ghastly act of cruelty in the light of the revelations of yet another national scandal, this one to do with officials of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party putting pressure on the producers of a 2001 court-drama aired by NHK (national TV), depicting a mock trial in relation to the sex slaves held by the Japanese Imperial Army before and during World War II, allegedly to assure a balanced treatment‚ of the topic in the TV program; meaning, cut out any meaningful criticism of the Japanese government.

And in true weasel fashion, stiff-necked bureaucrats conveniently hid behind handy technicalities. The Justice Ministry was quick to point out that a UNHCR decree of persons as „mandate refugees‰ does not legally bind a government from deporting them. Accordingly, such status is a mere suggestion, if you will.

„By deporting Ahmet and Ramazan, the Justice Ministry has defied the U.N.'s position on the matter,‰ lawyer Ohashi said. Mr. Ohashi, of course, must maintain legal decorum, and that is the reason for his undeservedly polite choice of words. A more apt choice would have been, „By deporting Ahmet and Ramazan, the Justice Ministry has told lesser peoples to go fuck themselves!‰

This refusal of the extension of stay, and summary and forceful deportation of people officially classified as „mandate refugees‰ by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is an extremely rare first for any so-called First World government, and proves the depth of wickedness and lack of compassion by this cold-hearted Koizumi government. As reported by The Japan Times of Jan 19, „The UNHCR senior legal officer Nathalie Karsenty said she had never heard of anyone being deported to their home country after being acknowledged as mandate refugees by the U.N.‰

This episode of forcefully and summarily pushing (literally) a father and son onto an airplane and sending them to a country from which they had run away in fear of their lives is a flagrant abuse of human rights. Further, it clearly proves that the Japanese government under Prime Minister Koizumi is not even willing to observe the most rudimentary protocols of the international body at the helm of which Japan wishes to be seated permanently.

Those deported are two of the Kurdish asylum seekers who last year carried out a campaign of sit-ins for weeks in front of the UN University in Tokyo and were later relocated to Tokyo Detention Center of the immigration authorities. They were later released conditionally, while their cases were being reviewed.

Supporters of the deported Kurdish refugees and human rights NGOs that have assisted asylum seekers in Japan are now calling for actions against this decision by the Japanese
Justice Ministry. They are also calling for boycotts of Turkish products as well as tourist trips to that country until the lives of the deported refugees are confirmed to be safe. The Japanese government has proved, if any proof were needed, that it is one of the most cold-hearted governments among the so-called First World nations.

Under section A, The obligation of non-refoulement, of chapter II, SECURITY AND THE CONVENTION, in the 2001 Note on International Protection <> , On the 1951 Refugee Convention (The General Assembly meeting of 13 September 2001, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER‚S PROGRAMME, Fifty-second session), we find the following with regards to refugees, whose status is as yet undetermined:

16. The obligation of States not to expel, return or refoule refugees to

territories where their life or freedom would be threatened is a cardinal

protection principle enshrined in the Convention, to which no reservations

are permitted. In many ways, the principle is the logical complement to the

right to seek asylum recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It has come to be considered a rule of customary international law binding on all States. In addition, international human rights law has established non-refoulement

as a fundamental component of the absolute prohibition of torture

and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The duty not to

refoule is also recognized as applying to refugees irrespective of their

formal recognition, thus obviously including asylum-seekers whose status has

not yet been determined (underlined emphasis added).

Again, this is in regards to refugees whose status is as yet not determined. The refugees that the Koizumi government returned back to the country where their lives may in fact be threatened had had their status determined as Œmandate refugees‚, meaning they are deemed deserving of protection in the judgment of UNHCR.

And the bitter irony of all ironies is that 2005 is designated by the Japanese government as the time to celebrate an EU-Japan Year of People to People Exchanges. As in, white Europeans are welcome, by all means, but none of those lesser peoples please! We are First World people after all!
Shame on Prime Minister Koizumi! Shame on the so-called Justice‚ Ministry! Shame on the Japanese government!!

Added to the calendar on Thu, Feb 3, 2005 7:07AM
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