Religious Discrimination in Japan – Testimonies given at
UN – UPR Information Meeting
UN Office, Geneva, Oct.31, 2012
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. 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. Mr. Toru Goto, head of the Japanese Victims Association states, that over 80% of the abduction victins have been women.
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 Paris Bar Ass.), Paris – France
Question and Answers 1h20m With so many cases in Japan, how can justice ignore international law and human rights?
1h30m What is the reason for the media “black-out” in Japan?
BACKGROUND: 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 HRWF Report (for download) HRWF Report – Japan: Abduction and Deprivation of Freedom for the Purpose of Religious De-Conversion (in english) hrwf.net/images/reports/2012/1231%20report%20final%20eng.pdf
HRWF Report: Japan: Abduction and Deprivation of Freedom for the Purpose of Religious De-Conversion (in Japanese) hrwf.net/images/reports/2012/1231%20report%20final%20jap.pdf
HRWF Report (order from Amazon) • Japan: Abduction and Deprivation of Freedom for the Purpose of Religious De-Conversion (in English) amazon.com/Abduction-Deprivation-Freedom-Religious–conversion/dp/147763911X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352069446&sr=1-1&keywords=Japan%3A+Abduction+and+Deprivation+of+Freedom+for+the+Purpose+of+Religious+De-Conversion+%28in+English%29
Human Rights Without Frontiers official Website • hrwf.net International Coalition for Religious Freedom (ICRF) • Research Documents on Faith-breaking in Japan religiousfreedom.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49&Itemid=30
Universal Peace Federation • upf.org
Japanese Victims Association against Religious Kidnapping and Forced Conversion • kidnapping.jp/en/
Forum for Religious Freedom (FOREF Europe) • foref-europe.org (blog in english) •
foref.info (website in german) •
Tel: 0043 (0) 664 5238794