Friday, November 14, 2014

Landmark Decision in Appeal Court in Goto's Case

The initial court decision made on Jan 2014 contained problematic issues.  One of the issues were that Christian minister, Matsunaga's responsibility was not questioned, and the other of the issues was the amount of the damage compensation which was merely around US$45,000 for the 12 years and 5 months  confinement.

On Nov 13, 2014, the high court decision was announced.  Both deprogrammers, pastor Matsunaga and Miyamura's responsibilities towards the Goto's confinement were acknowledged by the appeal court.  And Mr.Goto was awarded 22,000,000 Yen (about US$200,000), which is 4.5times more than the previous decision.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hiroshima couple filed criminal complaint against deprogrammer and family members.

In July 2014, a couple was adbucted againt their will for the purpose of forced de-conversion.  HRWF (Human Rights Without Forntiers) reported in its newsletter in Sep. 2014.

HRWF (11.09.2014) - On July 26th, 2014, two members of the Unification Church in Japan, Mr. and Mrs. S., b oth in their 40's, were kidnapped by their respective relatives under the direction of an Evangelical Minister, Mamoru Takawaza, leaving their two children behind.

Mr. S.'s parents visited his house and picked him up saying "Let's go to the hospital to see our relative." After he sat in the car, they banded his both hands and ankles with cords. They brought him to an apartment in Osaka City and confined him.

Mrs. S.'s parents invited her to their home in Hiroshima City. She visited them with her two children: a son (8 years old) and a daughter (3 years old). While her mother took her grand-daughter out for shopping, she stayed with her son asleep at home. Suddenly, male relatives including her father attacked her. They tied her hands and ankles with cords, wrapped her into a sleeping bag and banded the sleeping bag with strings. In spite of her frantic struggle, they conveyed her into a wagon type car and took her to Osaka City to the same apartment where husband had already been brought, and which was especially equipped for their confinement.

While taken into the flat, she screamed and the neighbors called the police. When the police came to the apartment, her father and Minister Takazawa persuaded them that this was just a "talk" between family members about her religious affiliation with the Unification Church and the police did not do anything to rescue her at this point.

Mr. and Mrs. S. had been deprived of their mobile phones by their relatives, so they could not contact outside people. However, two days later on 28th July, Mrs. S. managed to send a distress email to members of the Unification Church (UC) in Hiroshima asking them for rescue. Those members went to the police and showed them her e-mail. The police promised to investigate but after Minister Takazawa and Mr. and Mrs. S.'s fathers gave their explanation of the situation, the police concluded that this was "not a case".

On July 31st at midnight, Mrs. S. managed to make an emergency call to the police using her mother's mobile phone while she was asleep and asked for rescue saying she was confined with her husband by five or six persons. The police then had to act and finally five or six policemen went to the apartment. They found that the couple was actually confined and that the situation was actually a criminal case. The victims were released from the apartment and were able to go home and pick their children up safely.

The couple's rescue was only due to the luck of Mrs. S. in getting access to a mobile phone and being able to make a distress call to the police direct. All the previous cases of abduction and confinement did not have this opportunity and the Japanese police have turned a blind eye on these abuses.

On Nov 7, 2014, the Unification Church officially announced that Mr. & Mrs. S lodged a criminal complaint to the Hiroshima Police.関連資料/プレスリリース-神戸市の牧師等を刑事告訴/