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Detained Burmese Exile Sues Japan for Damages


A Burmese man has filed a lawsuit claiming damages from the Japanese government for detaining him for more than a year after his application for asylum was rejected.

The man, whose name is being withheld for his safety, was arrested in April of 2003 for entering Japan with a forged passport and staying without a proper visa.

He later sought refugee status, saying he was an active member of Burma's National League for Democracy and a former bodyguard for the Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Burmese exile's request to be recognized as a political refugee was rejected repeatedly, although he was eventually released and granted permission to remain in Japan.

However, his lawyers say 14 months of detention placed the man under such stress that he should be awarded more than 100,000 dollars in damages.

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