The sister and supporters of Iwao Hakamada, finally released from death row
Sister of Iwao Hakamada
Hakamada case lead attorney, Attorney at law
National Hakamada Support Committee & Executive Director of Amnesty International Japan
Language: The speech and Q & A and will be in Japanese with English interpretation
"How did it come to this? Press conference on the case of boxer put on death row for nearly 50 years - then released"
The nightmarish story of former boxer Iwao Hakamada sounds more like fiction than nonfiction, but it is real nonetheless. Convicted of murder on the basis of a "confession" allegedly beaten out of him after a 20-day police interrogation, Hakamada went on to spend nearly half a century in solitary confinement on death row, earning the dubious distinction of entering the Guinness Book of World Records for his ordeal.
The case against featured numerous oddities. For example, the bloody clothing that the police and prosecutors used at trial as material evidence against Hakamada has proved to have no DNA link to the boxer and were too small in size to have been worn by him. Even the presiding Judge Hiroaki Murayama was forced to admit that "the possibility of his innocence has become clear to a respectable degree."
Nevertheless, Shizuoka prosecutors have decided to appeal Iwao Hakamada's release and seek to return him to prison and, ultimately, to hang him. The 78-year-old is now trying to recover from multiple illnesses at a Tokyo-area hospital.
Coming to the FCCJ is the woman who has spent most of her life campaigning for the man's innocence, his 81-year-old sister Hideko Hakamada. Together with Katsuhiko Nishijima, the lead lawyer defending him, and Hideki Wakabayashi, Executive Director of Amnesty International Japan, Ms. Hakamada will face the media and call for some kind of justice to be served, even if much too late in the day.
Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.
Professional Activities Committee
Hideko Hakamada Katsuhiko Nishijima Hideki Wakabayashi