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Chinese man files suit over harassment at Japan immigration center

Photo taken in March 2018 shows the Omura Immigration Center in Nagasaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A Chinese man under a deportation order has filed a damages suit against the Japanese government, claiming he was harassed by officials at the immigration facility in southwestern Japan where he has been placed.

Lin Qi, 33, is seeking 1.1 million yen ($9,900) in compensation after having his food and shoes brought together in a box and being yelled at by facility staff. He filed the lawsuit on June 28 with the Nagasaki District Court.

"Other foreigners are also being harassed a lot, unable to raise their voices. Detainees are powerless in the face of human rights violations in closed rooms. I want many people to know about the actual situation," Lin told Kyodo News.

The Omura Immigration Center in Nagasaki Prefecture said it "cannot comment" because of the ongoing lawsuit.

Lin, whose family resides in Japan, was transferred to the Omura facility after he was held at the Nagoya Regional Immigration Bureau in central Japan in February 2016 for remaining in the country after permission had been revoked.

According to the complaint, an official of the facility brought some cans of fruit to Lin in a box with his shoes, worn outdoors, in March, when Lin asked if items sent to him had arrived.

In February 2017, a member of staff yelled at him, "You will be deported immediately if you anger me," after Lin returned a pen he had borrowed in a playful manner.

Japanese immigration facilities have been criticized in and outside the country for their lengthy detention periods.

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