Grace Shimizu, director of Campaign For Justice: Redress NOW For Japanese Latin Americans! recently announced that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published its verdict in the case Isamu Carlos “Art” Shibayma vs United States, holding that the U.S. government owes redress to brothers Art, Tak and Ken Shibayama for human rights violations perpetrated on them as children during World War II.

The Shibayama brothers, along with over 2,200 other children, women and men of Japanese ancestry and 4,085 of German ethnicity from 13 Latin American countries, were subjected to kidnapping, family separation, indefinite internment, hostage exchange, and forced deportation under a broad program of extraordinary rendition from Latin America carried out by U.S. government officials.

“This victory is great news for Japanese Latin Americans (JLAs), but also for immigrants, refugees, and those fighting extraordinary renditions and violations of civil liberties and human rights,” said Karen Parker, lead attorney for the Shibayamas and the Japanese Latin Americans. “We had to take this case to an international human rights forum because the Shibayamas could not get justice after five lawsuits and two failed pieces of legislation in Congress. I hope that representatives of the U.S. government will now do the right thing and give the Japanese Latin Americans the redress they deserve.”

While the ruling is specific to the Shibayma case and does not address similar treatment of Latin Americans of German ethnicity, the international tribunal’s conclusions certainly apply to all civilians impacted by the Special War Problems Division. Their decision reads:

“The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concludes that the [USA] is responsible for the violation of Articles II (equality before the law) and XVIII (fair trial and effective remedy) of the American Declaration [of the Rights and Duties of Man]….

And reiterates its recommendations to the USA to

(1) provide integral reparation for the human rights violations…including both the material and moral dimensions, and adopt measures for economic compensation and measures of satisfaction….[and]

(2) ensure full disclosure of government information relating to the program of deportation and internment of JLAs during WWII, as well as relating to the fates of the individuals subject to this program.”

For more information, please contact:
Campaign For Justice: Redress NOW For Japanese Latin Americans!