Religious Discrimination in Japan
Geneva, Palais des Nations, 31. 10. 2012 (FOREF) Prior to UPR session on Japan, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in joint sponsorship with Human Rights without Frontiers, the Japanese Victims Association against Kidnapping and Forced Conversion and FOREF Europe organized a information meeting in which two testimonies where given: Mr. Toru Goto, who has been kidnapped and confined for his beliefs during 13 years and Mrs. Mitsuko Antal, member of the Unification Church, both of them kidnapped by their own relatives and tortured by Japanese citizens, professional faith-breakers and deprogrammers. Acoording to Mr. Goto, 80% of the victims are women. These are shocking testimonies! Unfortunately the Ministry of Justice has turned a blind eye to the severe human rights violations by non-state actors and treated them merely as a “family matter”. Even the media in Japan has imposed a total black-out on these crimes.
FEATURED PANELISTS AT THE CONFERENCE:
- 2m10: Aaron Rhodes, International human rights activist, co-founder of the Freedom Rights Project, and former Executive Director of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights.
- 10m31: Mr. Toru Goto, Representative of the “Japanese Victims’ Association against Religious Kidnapping & Forced Conversion.“
- 26m40: Mitsuko Antal, Victim of abduction and forced conversion, Japan. (message read by Mrs Carolyn Handschin – due to the hurricane Sandy, Mrs Antal could not travel from USA to the conference)
- 36m18: Willy Fautre, President Human Rights Without Frontiers, Brussels – Belgium
- 56m09: Patricia Duval, Attorney at Law (member of the Paris Bar Ass.), Paris – France
Human Rights Without Frontiers has just published its report “Japan: Abductions and deprivation of freedom for the purpose of de-conversion”. In the last 40 years, about 4000 members of the Unification Church as well as members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, were kidnapped, confined and submitted to brainwashing for days, weeks, months and sometimes years in total impunity to force them to recant their faith. Last year, Human Rights Without Frontiers carried out an independent investigation in Tokyo and in Seoul. The report was published in Japanese and now in English. It is used as a reference for current campaigns in Japan, UN, United States and academic conferences so that an end can be put to this practice and the Japanese authorities prosecute those who perpetrate such illegal activities.
PRESS RELEASE and LINKS:
HRWF Report (for download)
- Japan: Abduction and Deprivation of Freedom for the Purpose of Religious De-Conversion (in Japanese)
- Japan: Abduction and Deprivation of Freedom for the Purpose of Religious De-Conversion (in English)
HRWF Report (order from Amazon)
Human Rights Without Frontiers official Website:
International Coalition for Religious Freedom (ICRF)
Japanese Victims Association against Religious Kidnapping and Forced Conversion
Forum for Religious Freedom (FOREF Europe)
- Tel: 0043 (0) 664 5238794