Free Hoshino Campaign

21 images Created 18 Nov 2013

Akiko Hoshino is the wife of jailed left-wing activist, Fumiaki Hoshino,who was convicted in 1979 for the killing of a police officer in a demonstration in Shibuya in 1971.
His original sentence of 20 years was extended in 1983 to life imprisonment even though the evidence was primarily confessions that were later retracted when the defendant and witnesses claimed they had been given under duress from the police. There was little or no other physical evidence linking Hoshino to the crime.
Japanese police have an unbelievably high conviction rate (over 99% of arrests are followed with a conviction) and many believe this is the result of forced confessions which are in many cases, as in the Hoshino case, the only evidence available. Because a confession carries a lot of weight legally if a defendant appears in court having previously confessed to the crime the judge is more or less there to rubber-stamp sentencing regardless of what might be the true facts of the case.
Hoshino especially, as a leader of a left wing group that opposed the terms of the American deal on the repatriation of the island of Okinawa, seems to have been made a particular example of. His detention has been extended indefinitely, he is not allowed conjugal visits from his wife, indeed in they have never touched each other for their whole married life and she was even refused permission to have his child via IVF treatment. Recently their letters to each other have been completely censored. After almost 40 years in prison for a crime that he is probably innocent of his case has attracted the attention of both the United Nations and Amnesty International.
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