Japan: UN expert expressed concern on restrictive measures on freedom of expression in Okinawa
Date : 2016.04.21
UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. David Kaye, expressed concern on the situation in Okinawa in his preliminary conclusion of the official visit to Japan (12-19 April).
“I also shared my concerns about public protest in particular in Okinawa with the Coast Guard. I communicated to the authorities last year my concern regarding allegations of disproportionate restrictions on protest activity taking place in Okinawa. I have heard credible reports of excessive use of force and multiple arrests. I was especially concerned by reports on the use of force against journalists filming the protests. As much as the protection of national security provides for the implementation of restrictions in certain areas, careful review processes must be in place to avoid abuses. Here as well I intend to follow the situation in Okinawa carefully and express my concerns as necessary to encourage space for peaceful protest there.”
Prior to his visit, IMADR jointly sent the Special Rapporteur the information on violation of freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly in Okinawa.