To the Editors

Back to Contents of Issue: December 2003

The Editor's page

by Iris Baker

Dear Mr. Kelts,

I am writing to thank you and your reporters at J@pan Inc for helping me tell Nick's story ("And Justice For All," November 2003). Your kindness and support have helped Nick and me to continue our fight.

As you know, it is not a miracle I'm asking for, just justice and a fair trial. I have been fighting for more than 18 months now -- not only for my son, but for all who find themselves in trouble in Japan.

This is the 21st century and Japan is a modern country. Yet its cruel and barbaric treatment of people detained and accused of crimes has continued for many years.

Prisoners are not allowed to defend themselves in any way. Once indicted, Nick was placed in solitary confinement for over 11 months because he would not show remorse for a crime he would not admit to in a statement he had signed in a language he could not understand.

Solitary confinement was ordered by the prosecutor. Why did this prosecutor then inflict additional mental torture on my son at the end of the confinement period?

Nick still said, "Not guilty." But by that time he was unable to prepare mentally for any trial, having become a shaken shell of a man -- surely punishment enough for not traveling without due care and attention!

The British gover-nment claim to be the change-makers of the 21st century. If Nick's situation is an example of change-making, Tony Blair has made an enormous step backward in the name of justice and human rights.

-- Iris Baker

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