The family of a Sri Lankan woman who died in detention at a central Japan immigration facility will file next week a complaint with a judicial panel seeking a review of the case after prosecutors dropped charges against immigration officials, their lawyers said Monday.
Ratnayake Liyanage Wishma Sandamali's family will on Aug. 8 make the submission requesting the Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution assess the decision to clear the officials they believe are criminally liable for Wishma's March 6, 2021, death.
The request to the independent panel of citizens tasked with reviewing prosecutors' decisions comes after the family was dissatisfied with the Nagoya District Public Prosecutors Office's June 17 decision to drop charges.
The prosecutors' office concluded it could not say the officials failed to provide Wishma with appropriate medical care.
Wishima's death at age 33 at the Nagoya Regional Immigration Services Bureau after a month of medical complaints including vomiting and stomachaches drew significant attention and sparked an outcry over her treatment.
But the prosecutors said that after a thorough investigation, they could not ascertain a cause of death, nor could they establish a causal relationship between Wishma's treatment at the facility and her death.
The prosecutors also told her family it did not recognize claims that the immigration facility failed to provide appropriate food or health care. As a result, the charges against 13 then senior officials at the immigration center were dropped.
The family lodged a criminal complaint last November with the prosecutors' office, accusing the immigration officials of treatment that amounted to willful negligence, including failing to provide sufficient care.
They also said the officials did not care if Wishma died.
The complaint was made against the director and deputy director of the facility, as well as the officers in charge on the day of her death.
Wishma, who came to Japan in 2017 on a student visa, was detained at the facility in August 2020 for overstaying her visa.