Letter from Iris Baker

Dear Mr. Kelts,

I am writing to thank you and your reporters at J@pan Inc for your support in helping me tell Nick's story to many people. Your kindness has helped Nick and I continue our fight.

As you know, it is not a miracle I’m asking for, just justice and a fair trial -- 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. No doubt Japan counts itself high on the list of world leaders. 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 more than 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 and obtained under duress.

This solitary confinement was ordered by the prosecutor. Why did this man feel he had to inflict such barbaric mental torture on my son at the end of the confinement? Nick still said: "Not guilty." But by then 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 Government claim to be the change-makers of the 21st century. If Nick's situation is an example of change-making, Mr. Blair has taken an enormous step backwards in the name of justice and human rights.

I am a mother first and foremost, and I hope that mothers all over the world will support my plea for the Japanese and British governments to sit around a table and discuss this cruel breach of justice and abuse of all human rights. I want this not only for Nick, but for all detainees in Japan without prejudice.

My feeling of failure as a mother is something I have to deal with every day. I believe my job as a mother is to help and protect my children. The Japanese authorities and the British government could easily help me fulfill my role. They both refuse to do so.

Can someone tell me why?

-- Iris Baker