Family files criminal complaint over Sri Lankan woman’s death

NAGOYA (Jiji Press) — Family members of a Sri Lankan woman who died at a detention facility in Nagoya in March have filed a criminal complaint accusing senior officials of the facility of murdering the woman, Wishma Sandamali, then 33.

Her sisters — Wayomi, 29, and Poornima, 27 — filed the complaint with the Nagoya District Public Prosecutors Office on Tuesday.

According to the complaint, Wishma began complaining of ill health such as vomiting and loss of appetite as late as mid-January while being detained at the Nagoya Regional Immigration Services Bureau. She was asking for treatment at an outside hospital but died on March 6.

The family members claim that the officials, including the then head of the bureau and guards at the facility, run by the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, neglected to fulfill their responsibility and obligations to give Wishma proper medical care to protect her life.

They accused the officials of committing murder through willful negligence based on the thinking that they did not care if she died.

After filing the complaint, Poornima told reporters that she wants the officials to be thoroughly punished, adding that she hopes for good results.

Officials at the bureau declined to make any comment.

Wishma came to Japan in 2017 to learn Japanese but was detained at the facility in August 2020 for overstaying her visa.Speech