A central Japan court plans to show footage of a Sri Lankan woman who died in detention during proceedings for a damages suit filed by her bereaved family, a lawyer for the family said Wednesday.
No date has been provided for the showing of the roughly five hours of government-provided security camera footage of Ratnayake Liyanage Wishma Sandamali, who died at the age of 33 while being held at the Nagoya Regional Immigration Services Bureau on March 6, 2021.
Wishma's family is seeking damages from the government over her death, alleging she was illegally detained and died due to a lack of necessary medical care.
The lawyer told a press conference held after Wednesday's oral proceedings that non-public discussions on the trial's schedule at the Nagoya District Court included plans to show the video at some point.
Until now, the government has expressed reluctance to let the footage be shown on security grounds. Details on how to show the video, such as whether only to allow judges to see parts that may not be desirable for observers to witness, will be decided at a later stage.
Wishma, who was detained for overstaying her visa in 2020, died after complaining of ill health, including vomiting and stomachaches, for around a month.
Her death sparked national outrage over her treatment at the time, forcing the government a few months later to drop a bill revising rules on foreigners facing deportation, including asylum seekers.
Wishma arrived in Japan in 2017 as a student but was taken into custody at the immigration facility in August 2020 for overstaying her visa after an earlier application for refugee status had been rejected.