Teruya (third from left) and other diet members from Okinawa
constituencies released a statement demanding the immediate release of
Hiroji Yamashiro, director of the Okinawa Peace Movement Center, who has
been detained by police for about four months, on the afternoon of
February 18 at the Okinawa Prefectural Office.
February 19, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
At a press conference held on February 18 at Okinawa Prefectural
Government Office, six diet members from Okinawa constituencies released
a statement demanding the immediate release of Hiroji Yamashiro,
director of the Okinawa Peace Movement Center. Yamashiro has been
detained for about four months after being arrested and prosecuted on a
charge of alleged forcible obstruction of business while protesting
against the construction of Helipads in U.S. Northern Training Area in
Takae, Higashi and new U.S. base in Henoko, Nago.
Kantoku Teruya, Toshinobu Nakazato, Seiken Akamine and Denny Tamaki,
members of the House Representatives, and Keiko Itokazu and Yoichi Iha,
members of the House of Councilors, issued the statement in their names.
The six congress members stressed in the statement: “Despite a minor
charge, Yamashiro’s long period of detention and a ban on contact with
him continues based on the claim that there is a risk of destruction of
evidence or fleeing. This is a political crack-down on the struggle in
Henoko and Takae and non-violent resistance by Uchinanchu (Okinawan
people) who are seeking peace and the restoration of their dignity.”
They criticized the Japanese Government and asked for the immediate release of Yamashiro.
Teruya, who continues to be in contact with Yamashiro as his lawyer,
said, “It took an entire five days for us to get a pocket warmer to him.
This long-period of detention is extraordinary and unjust.”
According to the diet members, Yamashiro is focused on maintaining good
health for the first court hearing, which is set for March 17.
(English translation by T&CT)
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