HUMAN RIGHTS FOR EACH PERSON REGARDLESS OF AGE, RACE, RELIGION OR POLITICS
NICK BAKER CASE FILE
Nick Baker Paroled
The FPSS has been noitified by Nick's mother Iris, that Nick was paroled earlier this week.
Everone at the FPSS sends Nick their very best wishes and success in his freedom.
Stand-by for more news as it bocomes available.
Japan Jail where the nightmare begins for young British father
In 2002 Nick Baker, a 32 year old British chef, and father of a one year old son, traveled to Japan in advance of the World Cup. He was arrested at Tokyo's Narita Airport when ecstasy pills and cocaine were found in the false bottom of a suitcase.
Nick protested he had been duped by a traveling companion, James Prunier, but Japanese police allowed Prunier to leave the country without questioning him.
While Nick was spending some 10 months in solitary confinement for apparently "refusing to confess", it happened that Prunier was arrested in Belgium for allegedly tricking three other British travelers into smuggling drugs. (The "Mules" were released by Belgian authorities without charges). Nick's defence attorney requested that the facts of the Belgian case be admitted as evidence, but presiding Judge Kenji Kadoya, who in more than a decade on the bench has never found a single defendant "not guilty", refused this motion at the request of the prosecution. Instead, in June 2003, handing-down almost double what one might expect for murder in Japan, Kadoya sentenced Nick to 14 years in prison with hard labor, largely on the basis of testimony Nick was made to sign (written in Japanese, a language he does not understand).
Nick protested that the testimony was inaccurately translated, and is currently appealing the verdict, a process that could take up to one year.
Nick's family and supporters have put a web site up in the desperate hope that the Japanese authorities, aware that the world is watching, will admit relevant evidence and provide Nick with a proper hearing during the appeal, and that justice will prevail. Otherwise, Nick will not see his son again until he is fully grown.
Want to know more about the facts of this case?
A Brief Overview of Detention & Criminal Procedures in Japan, the Prison System, and the Window for Abuses to Occur
Japan Today Forum: Japan-based English-language site -- a new discussion on Nick's petition and the case in general
Write to Nick at: Tokyo Detention Centre -
1-35-1 Kosuge, Katsushika-ku. Tokyo. Japan. 124-0001
Nick Baker's High Court appeal verdict is due to be delivered from 13:30 JST (GMT +9hrs) in room 718 of the Tokyo High Court on October 27th 2005.
There will be a live feed to update The Justice for Nick Baker website "updates" page as events unfold.
Click here for website created by Nick's family... details of his case available there
Click Here to Sign the Justice For Nick Baker Petition
Update June 2007
Many people stop and ask me how Nick is now, all I can tell them is that he as lost more weight,
he had a bad chest infection and frost bite of the feet, hopefully this is all cleared up now, but Im not to sure of that.
I was thrilled to see that the UN had at last made a statement (which is at the bottom of this
this email) about the way people are treated by the Judicial system in Japan,
I am so pleased that this is at last make more serious headlines. I am sure that this is all to late for Nick, but maybe just maybe things are starting to change now and that people will get human rights and fairtrials at last. It as been a very sad 9 months for myself and Nick, but I am always amazed at peoples kindness and support many have continued to write to Nick, this is his life line to home, so once again thank you to everyone and I hope they can continue.
UN body attacks Japan's justice system
By David Turner in Tokyo -
Published: May 22 2007
A United Nations committee has castigated Japan's criminal justice and prison system, listing a wide range of problems including the lack of an independent judiciary, an extremely low rate of acquittal and human rights abuses among detainees.
The UN Committee Against Torture takes a broad interpretation of its brief, criticising the state's physical treatment of citizens and the fairness of the justice system.
The report comes at an embarrassing time for Japan. The government has been trying to restore the country's status as a nation with the moral and political authority of a world power, in addition to an economic powerhouse. Shinzo Abe has tried to accelerate this process since he became prime minister since last year, but with mixed results.
In an 11-page report completed last week, scarcely any part of the system escapes criticism. For example, it raises suspicions over a "disproportionately high number of convictions over acquittals". There were only 63 acquittals in the year to March 2006, compared with 77,297 convictions, among criminal cases that had reached court, according to Japan's Supreme Court.
In a version of the report released in Tokyo on Monday and described as "advanced unedited" [sic], the committee links the high conviction rate to the state's emphasis on securing confessions before trial.
It cites fears about "the lack of means to verify the proper conduct of detainees while in police custody", in particular "the absence of strict time limits for the duration of interrogations and the absence of mandatory presence of defence counsel".
Parts of the law relating to inmates on death row "could amount to torture", it says, criticising the "psychological strain imposed upon inmates and families" by the fact that "prisoners are notified of their execution only hours before it is due to take place".
The committee also "is concerned about the insufficient level of independence of the judiciary".
It attacks Japan's dismissal of cases filed by "comfort women", who were forced to work in military-run brothels during the war, on the grounds that the cases have passed the country's statute of limitations.
The report, written after an 18-day session of the committee in Geneva, asks the Japanese government to consider a slew of measures, including "an immediate moratorium on executions".
The committee issued its attack after receiving a report from the Japanese government on its efforts to prevent human rights abuses. All UN member states must submit such reports regularly, although the UN Committee scolds Japan for filing its report "over five years late".
The committee's findings are in line with complaints by human rights lawyers. But the report has attracted controversy within the UN.
Keiichi Aizawa, director of the Japan-based United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, told the Financial Times: "The treatment of offenders in Japan is fair."
Japan's Justice Ministry declined to comment.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007
Visit to Nick in Fuchu Prison 2006
My visit this year to see Nick was a very difficult one,
firstly because I knew Nick had lost weight and secondly because I
had some bad news for him. Quite unexpectedly on August the 8th my patner John died,
he was only 59 and we had been together for many many years. Nick had had an excellent
relationship with John who had visited Nick in Japan last year, they had played golf
together and John had always been on hand to help Nick on many occasions. Nick has had a very emotional year with his family this year, he as been very concerned about his father health when he was rushed in a few months ago for an urgent heart operation, luckily he is now on the mend. He as also been very concerned about myself as I had suffered several bouts of bronchitis followed final by pneumonia , I had managed to keep this from Nick until Iknew that I was almost recovered, needless to say with the sudden death of John my visit this time was the hardest.
I was so very lucky with my travels to Japan this year, two very good friends travelled with me Shirley (Nicks godmother and a friend of many years) and Yvonne and new friend to both Nick and myself, Yvonne has support Nick and has visited him twice now, she also supports people from her own Country Holland. Together we mananged to make 4 half hour visits to Nick, we also travelled to TDC and where able to visit other prisoners.
Seeing Nick - there was nothing that could have prepared me for the fist sight of Nick, he walked through the door flanked by a guard and a translator, glass seperated us from any sort of physical contact. Nick who is almost 6 foot stood in a very scruffy and dull grey work suit, it was totally ill fitted. In Nicks very thin and boney hands was a grimy grey cloth cap. Nick has always been a well built man and never in my life have I seen him so thin, Nick carries no body fat anywhere on his body, his face was thin and I could see his shoulder blades under the grey uniform. I wondered how he found the energy to walk as in my mind he looked so frail. Nicks two other visitors who were with me at the time struggled to hold back tears and emotions.
We all managed to keep talking to Nick through the 30 minutes alloted to us. Nick was very angry about many things, some at me because I had with held things from him over the year, but we were able to talk about these things and I explained to Nick that I preferred to tell him somethings face to face and not in a letter which had been read by someone else first.
I asked Nick what work he was doing and he said he was making coils for machine's he said he was the only prisoner who sat down to work, I asked the British Embassy in Tokyo at my visit later in the weekwhy was Nick the only one sitting for work, stupidly I thought it was a sign of concern, of course I was very wrong, Nick was sitting down because this meant he received small food rations this is another type of punishment. Whilst Nick had been held on two occasions in solitary on punishment, his food rations would have been cut drastically. My biggest concern now is how will Nick survive this Winter with nobody fat at all to protect him against the servere cold and frost bite.
I questioned the British Embassy on Nicks appauling state and they told me that Fuchu Prison had reported that Nicks 71 kilo ( his original weight was 108 kilos most of Nicks weight lose as been over the passed 7 months) to his height was perfectly healthy and that his BMI (body mass index)!!!!!!!!Of course I did not except this statement and voiced my concerns about Nicks health, to me he looked like he was being held in Aushwitz.
The Embassy say that they continually raise the question of food with the Prison. The Embassy know that I think they do not do enough on the treatment of prisoners in Prisons in Japan. Their punishment is to lose their freedom, I cannot accept this cruel, degrading and barbaric treatment to human beings. Much more work needs to be done between Governments on these situations concerning Prisoners around the world.
I was able to see Nick on 4 seperate days for 30 mins per visit, he asked any questions about his son George whom he misses so very much, he would so love a phone call with him !!! but there is no chance of this
for foreign prisoners. I found the reception staff at the prison very helpful as they did not speak english and I , no Japanese.
I left Fuchu prison and Japan once again with a lot of sadness concern and worry for all Prisoners, but I was able to leave money for 2 other prisoners to help them purchase thermal clothes for the cold winter months ahead and a few toiletries.
Almost finally, I have to thank the very kind friends the Nick and I now have in Japan , as always they looked after us all so well, I have to say that I would never cope without out all your kindness and support,
bless you all , my friends for ever.
Finally I have tried to keep my comments unbiased, this is very difficult as I watch my son change, I only hope that I do not fail him as I continue in my fight to have Nick transfered out of Japan.
I will be writing another report with regard to Nicks transfer and the work that is being done by many people, Sabine at FTA, and MEPs in Brussels, Baroness S Ludford and Graham Watson MEP .
I apologize for any grammer or spelling mistake.
Thank you all for your continued support
Best wishes Iris Baker
Nick Baker Update
June 12, 2006
Nick Baker's first visitor since tranferring to Fuchu Prison|
Thanks to some fabulous directions (really, thank you!) I was able to find
the prison with no trouble at all even though it was actually my first time to get
off the train at Fuchu Station. I travelled to Fuchu Station on the Keio Line from
Shinjuku and exited from the North exit and found the bus bound for Kokubunji at #2 Bus Stop.
Three stops later I was there (Harumicho - 190 yen). As you alight from the bus you are standing directly in front of a street that leads down to the visitors entrance of the prison (although it is residential on both sides until you encounter the prison perimeter on your right as you walk.) It's a 3-5 minute walk - straight, no turns. At the visitors entrance I was asked to complete a visitor registration which asked for my details and relationship to Nick (to which I wrote Yuujin/Friend) and to my surprise also asked me to list what I was going to speak to Nick about. I was a little lost for words but eventually wrote that I was going to talk about his wellbeing and his beloved soccer world cup (which we actually did - no surprise of course.) At the front gate I had to surrender my mobile phone into a small locker and was given my registration form to take through to the next building where I handed it in once again. At this stage I was also asked to show my ID. This time they were more interested in finding out how I know Nick and asked me what language I intended to speak to Nick in. This for me was the first sign that the visit was going to go ahead. (I had been warned that Nick needed to 'organize' my visit so I was a bit nervous about that and whether he had received my letter or not telling him of my visit dates.) I told them that I had visited Nick at TDC before he moved to Fuchu and that I was a supporter. I speak pretty good Japanese but the word 'supporter' translates very well. This seemed to satisfy them.
I waited for about 50 minutes before my number was called.
There were only about 5 other people in the waiting room with me which
is significantly different to the volume waiting at TDC.
There are only five visitation rooms and so as soon as one is vacated,
the next person can go in for their visit. According to the signs on the wall, you can visit weekdays only, AM or PM, a maximum of three visitors at one time. I can't remember the exact times sorry though it looked pretty much the same as it was at Tokyo Detention Center. Nick can only have two visitors per month at the moment. My understanding is from talking to Nick that non-family members may visit him but he has to 'register' you in advance. Luckily, Nick has had me registered for some time and so while he was absolutely not expecting me today (it seems that my letter hasn't made it to him yet) he was expecting me 'some time'. My visit with Nick was very short. I would estimate about 15 minutes although I overheard some other visitors complaining of the same as they were leaving. So I don't think that this is anything specific to Nick. It seems like you can have up to 30 minutes but perhaps if people are waiting, they try and get you in and out quickly.
I walked into the visitation room at the same time Nick entered from the opposite side so I was able to get a good look at him. I was shocked by the change. He is a ghost of his former self - the weight loss is very visible. He told me he has lost about 20kg. He is also sporting a buzz cut which he tells me all prisoners have. But despite the weight-loss he looked healthy. I know that sounds like a contradiction but he did and I told him so. He was also in very good spirits and talked quite animatedly. I have seen Nick through both highs and lows before and it was certainly a pleasant surprise to find him so 'genki'. I wrote down notes of our visit but am welcome to answer any questions anyone might have of something I don't mention. Feel free to contact me on the forum here or by personal message.
My notes that I wrote down immediately after the visit on the bus back to Fuchu station:
Nick looks like he's shrunk (due to the weight loss). He told me that they (all the prisoners) are always hungry and don't get nearly enough to eat. And that is certainly evidenced by his weight loss. I asked him if I could buy him food like we used to at TDC. He kind of laughed at me and said no. We can't buy him anything.
Nick told me also that he felt very dirty and was very conscious that he smelled. I told him that he didn't although this was not true. I got the impression that they don't get much opportunity to bathe or keep very hygienic and that Nick is not happy about this at all. He was also unshaven though perhaps by only a few days.
Nick was very interested in talking about the World Cup although we all know what a big football (soccer) fan he is. He already knew the scores although I had specifically memorized as much as I knew to tell him. I asked him if he knew from a newspaper or something but he laughed again and told me the latest newspaper he has been able to see was from March. I would guess the prison guards have told the prisoners the scores though I don't know for sure. At TDC there used to be one guard in particular that would enjoy talking to Nick about football (soccer) as it is a pretty big thing here. He told me he was looking forward to hearing the result of tonight's Australia vs Japan game and was confident that Australia would win (as you know - I'm Australian so I hope so too!) He also told me that George is a avid Tottenham supporter now too and for that he was very proud.
He can only send one letter per week although he has written so many more than that. He is waiting to be able to send these ones he has 'saved up' some time in the future. I told him that he should concentrate on getting letters to Iris and George and not to worry about the rest of us. He also doesn't think that he's getting all his letters and I think he said sometimes it takes up to 6 weeks for them to come through. But it's hard to say I guess.
Nick is very confident that he will be getting out this year. He alluded to a couple of strategies to do so but I think that this is not something he can talk about during visits so I couldn't really follow this part of the conversation. I'm not sure if he was referring to prison transfer or not. But he told me that he had been praying to God about it and felt that the time would not be far away before his prayers would be answered.
He told me that he has a cell to himself and that there are about 3000 prisoners at Fuchu and that he had made some friends with American prisoners. Nick was wearing a prison issue grey jumpsuit much like a mechanic would wear. At TDC he used to wear his own clothes so this was different. He also told me that his work is to 'make bags' but that we shouldn't buy them because he is no good! He also said he used to work doing something with electronics or mechanical or something but he was no good at that either. It seems like work takes up a lot of the prisoners time.
Nick has not lost his accent at all which made me laugh. He joked that people still find it very difficult to understand him. I'm not surprised though I don't have too much trouble any more.
Nick asked me to thank everybody that had been writing to him and sending books although he asked that we don't send any more (books). Apparently he has more than 30 that he has not been able to read yet. He said that he would let Iris know when he was running low and hopes that we would send some more again at that time. I actually left 3 magazines and a book for him so now he has 31!
I asked Nick if he needed 'anything' but he told me that he didn't. Though I sincerely wish that we could get him some food.
I passed on messages that were given to me to tell him and also have a few that I will send to a couple of you directly. Nick was still talking to me right up to the time where the guards were trying to get us to leave the room. We made plans to visit again both in Aus and the UK when he is out.
That's all I can think of now but I will post more if something else comes to mind. Take care everyone.
(** Name withheld for security reasons)
Nick Baker Update
31 May 2006
According to Nick's mother, Iris Baker, his weight has dropped
by approximately 20 kilograms since his initial internment.
He has been moved to the very worst factory on the prison
site for more punishment! There are no English prisoners
in this factory but luckily many people can speak some
English, so in the very short periods of time that prisoners
can speak, Nick does manage to have a form of communication.
Most prisoners like Nick who have spent an extended time in
solitary find all the noise of every day life in prison too much.
Nick's mother Iris is deeply concerned for her son's emotional state and general health. The food is of a very poor standard, cold and almost inedible portions.
On a more positive note however, the authorities have finally allowed Nick his letters and cards from supporters which were previously being held. This month Nick was able to write to his mother and father and they are hoping that Nick will get visitors in June.
'Things are still very harsh and barbaric for Nick and all the prisoners detained in Japan. We can only hope that they can keep their faith and never give up hope and know that one day they will be back with the people that care about them most' says Iris Baker.
Nick Baker's sixth letter to his Mother
04 May 2006
I have received a 5 page letter from Nick dated 12-3-06 he says he is writing
it from solitary and the solitary came about becase of a plastic bag in his bin!!!!!
he said it as always been there, and I can only guess it should not have been when
questioned Nick swore about it but not at a guard anyway we all know the out come-
10 days in solitary. Nick said it was warmer in solitary and quieter . I think Nick struggles with the noise of Fuchu after so long in solitary in Chiba and TDC.
After Nicks 10 days he was moved to another factory, factory 18, there are no British there.
Nick still talks about his transfer out and this keeps him going, although he says there is a very negitive atmosphere about this and it does drags him down!!!!
Nick talks all the time about George and about a father and son re-union party and in his mind he plans for this, he says it will be a good day!!!!!
Nick has had a couple of colds since arriving at Fuchu.
He has been allowed his Bible now and talks about doing this plumbing course.
He sends his love to everyone that has help him get through this hell.
Factory 18 makes bags.
Nick has been able to see Father Barry again, (some of what Nick wrote was blacked out!!) Nick said this was good to be able to talk to Father Barry.
In May Nick should be able to recieve letters from everyone he looks forward to this, but sadly he still will not be able to reply to you.
Hopefully in May Nick can have visitors so I hope that we can once again have regular updates from ones who visit him.
Nick sent a 2 page letter to his son as well.
Thank you all
[Mother of Nick Baker]
April 11th 2006 Update - Nick Baker - Meeting with Foreign Minister
Today I meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Mr Ian Pearson in London.
I was accompanied by my local MP, Shadow Minister Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown who
had arranged the meeting for me. Since I have moved back into Gloucestershire.
Mr Clifton-Brown has been very supportive of my fight for Nick a situation
that I'm sure will continue until we can get Nick transferred back to the UK.
Together with two representatives from the Foreign Office present I was able to talk to Mr Pearson for almost an hour (although I could have talked to him all week). I started the meeting by telling everyone present that sometimes I felt that they though of me as a nuisance and a trouble maker. I assured them that this was not my intention, my only concern had been Justice for Nick and now my only concern is for Nick basic human rights and I would continue to fight for this not only for Nick but for anyone that maybe subject to this form of treatment. I believe they understood my emotion and dedication for the safety of my son and the human rights of all in Japanese prisons.
I was able to take a copy of one of Nick letters sent from Fuchu, I thought this may help them understand the mind of a person in this situation and also learn a little about Nick as a person, although the letter does not show Nick in his true light, it shows a man who is very frustrated and is struggling mentally and physical to survive each day under very harsh and strict conditions!!!!!
I was able to state at this meeting many of the facts about the conditions that all people were and are subjected to. Having collected a mass of information from current and ex prisoners . I also voiced my concerns about the transfer agreement and I hope all Countries that signed the agreement will continue to put pressure on so that the total spirit of the agreement can be upheld. I believe that Britain have had more people transferred home than any other Country and continue to transfer more people when they are able.
I do not know if I managed today to get further help or support from Mr Pearson for prisoners in Japan or indeed for Nick, but I believe that I can have done no harm in making my self known to the Minister as he can judge for himself the determination, desperation and sincerity of my continued fight.
I would like to thank Mr Pearson for allowing me the time to tell him some of Nicks story, may thanks also to Mr Clifton-Brown who as been very kind to me and will continue to support me.
[Mother of Nick Baker]
Nick Baker Back in Solitary Confinement
Nick is back in solitary confinement, he had already written and told me he may have a little trouble because he had been caught speaking. Yes, I did say speaking, prisoners are only allowed to speak twice a day for a very short period of time, I am told that this solitary comfinement puncihsment can last up to 28 days or longer. Nick has already completed almost 4 years in solitary before he was moved.
Whilst Nick was being investigate he fainted, so they tell me !!! when he came too he was covered in sweat, he is also suffer from blurred vision and has been for many weeks.
Fuchu Prison rule book states, if a prisoner become ill he will be punished, it looks like Nick could be in further trouble!!!!
The British Embassy have requested that Nick be checked medically, they think theres a possibility that he could be epileptic!!!. 4 years ago Nick was a strappy 6 foot man.
Nick has lost a further 10 kilos in Fuchu, they are feed only limited amounts of poor quality food which is always cold. They are allowed rations of approx 2000 calories per day, but if there is not enough work in the factories for them to complete a full day these rations are cut, there is not enough work to keep prisoners working all day. If your are in Solitary your rations are cut even further. Nick is not able to buy extra food, not even bread and cheese, none is sold in the prison.
Nick suffered frost bite once again this year this is the 4 time Nick has suffered this.
I can no longer fight for a fair trial for Nick, all I can do is fight for his human rights. Really difficult in Japan as you can see by Nick treatment so far.
Click Here for Complete Story
5th Letter from Nick Baker
Hi All -
Nicks last letter must have been running late as I now have his 5th letter
Nick says all thought its getting warmer in Japan at this time it is still
very cold in Fuchu.
I had asked Nick about TV and Radio and he says that he has Radio on
Saturday and Sunday afternoon and evening mainly chart music. Monday and
Friday is just American news and politics. TV is for 1 hour 50 mins
Tuesday evening and a movie Thursday night and Sunday morning, Nick says
this can make you feel almost human, although he is dissappointed that
they will not get to watch the Winter Olympics.
Nick appeared quite concerned about his future and is still keen to get
text books on plumbing, he worries that his future is very bleak and will
need to learn new skills if he is to have any hope of working again after
this is over.
Click Here for Complete Story
Update Nick Baker -
9 March 2006
A few days ago I received Nicks 4th letter it was written on the 21st
January 2006. The letter included a letter for George together with a
handmade Birthday Card for Georges 5th Birthday (4th one Nick has missed) I
find it really unbelieveable that Nick cannot buy a proper birthday card to
send to his son !!! more punishment with little meaning but totally cruel .
My letter from Nick was much shorter this time and I guess Nick has now to
abide by the tough rules of a 7 page letter once a month. I found Nicks
letter a little more up beat and I guess each day he settles into this new
and tough regime that is everyday life in Fuchu.
Nick at this time was still very cold but someone had told him about a
cream he could rub on his hands and feet that helped with the frost bite, I
was pleased to hear this but I still find any form of frost bite absolutely
unacceptable. Nick had received his new photo of George and was thrilled to
see a definate likeness between himself and his son. He had also started to
receive some of his note books, but things were still very slow in getting
through to him at this time.
Nick wants to thank everyone for their letters and cards (please keep them
going to Nick) He still has blurred vision in his left eye and had
requested an eye test but he thinks this will take a long time. He was also
still waiting for his own underwear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nick had wanted to write a one page letter to his dad and include with
mine, but this was not allowed.
At this time Nick has lost a further 10 kilo's, I will be keeping an eye on
Nicks weight but I understand from others drastic weight lose is normal,
Chris Snell states he was very thin when he returned to the UK. In Fuchu
prisoners are not allowed to buy extra food.
Thank you all once more for supporting Nick and I will let you have a
further update when I receive the next letter from Nick. Finally Nick
closing words were "May God bless us all"
Mother of Nick Baker
F.P.S.S Thanks Iris Baker
FPSS would like to thank Iris for keeping us informed and we truly feel
inspired by your courage to endure this long journey. We would like to call
on our members to contact Iris and offer her some moral support. This has
been an ordeal that no mother should ever face!
Or visit the Nick Baker Website : http://www.justicefornickbaker.org
Update Nick Baker -
4 Feb 2006
I have now received Nicks 3rd letter it was written between 17/12/05
through to 01/01/06 so as you can imagine how very sad and depressing time
this was while Nick spent his 4th Christmas and New year away from home
and his son, the letter was very hard to read the first time and even hard
to read the second time so that I can give you all an update, but anyway
After the 17th December Nick was moved to a training factory (boot camp)
Nick was one of 6 foreigner, he was trained to march etc which included
guards screaming orders and instructions, Nick says every ones face showed
the same fear, not because they could not manage to march but because they
could not understand the instruction being screamed at them!!!!! surely
training could be achieved more efficently and easily if it was carried in
in a civil manner. During this time Nick was in a room with no bed .
Im not sure if Nick has different clothes now but at the time of training
the clothes he was given to wear which included undwear did not fit and
kept falling down, I am not sure what happened to the thermal underwear
that was purchased for Nick, but I do know that he would be in really need
of clean and warm underwear!!!!
Nick hoped to be moved back to a room with a bed, chair and table he also
mentioned that if they provided the paint he would be happy to re-paint
his own cell, infact he would be happy to paint all the cells!!! to make
them cleaner and more pleasant, maybe the Governor will read this and
think its a good idea!!!!
At this point I believe Nick was eating most of the food given to him, but
I guess as the days got colder so did the food and I understand Nick is
not eating much just now, warm food would be a very small comfort to all
prisoners , the food is freezing cold by the time it is given out!!!!
Nick was allowed to send out a few postcards for New year but was only
allowed to write 5 lines on them.
Nick applied to go to the Mass servies, this was not allowed.
24/12/05 Nick has finished training and has been moved back to a room with
a bed and the room is cleaner, it was Christmas Eve and Nicks thoughts are
with his son, he is very cold and very down. He spent Christmas day
writing a letter to son. The rest of Nicks thoughts - to painfully to
write about sorry!!
Prisoner have to be upgrade before they can be considered for transfer !!!
this is done on a point system and at this time he was waiting to be told
how these points could be earnt !!!! or lost !!!
As you can imagine Nick spends much of his time thinking about being
transfered home (I wonder why!!) Nick says he will ask for extra work so
he can earn points quicker Nick always has a plan and Im pleased to hear
that he is still able to do this to try and help himself, lets hope he
allowed to do this
His asthma has become a really problem in the night because of the severe
drop in temperature and because of the bedding Nick has to use, he
struggles to get through the night with out having breating problems, this
is of great concern to me and I can only hope that this situation is being
He has now watched his first movie in 4 years
At this time he had not received his bible back or picture of George and
although he knows that reference books have been sent at this point he had
not been given any.
01/01/2006 Nick asked me to say Happy New year to you all, family friends
His letter then got very depressed and he said it was the worsed time
since he has been in Japan!!! he worrys continual that his son will forget
him and he worries about his wellbeing and growing up with no contact with
Nick is receiving letters from people although he waits longer to recieve
Final, by now we know that after a visit by the British Embassy that Nick
is suffering from frost bite once again, thats every year he as been in Japan.
Of course I could write lots more, but most of you already know the
situation in these prisons, I will continue to update you everytime I
receive new from Nick or about him.
Thanks always for your support.
Iris Baker [Nick's Mother in the UK]
2 Jan 2006
Update from Iris Baker
I have now received Nicks 2nd letter, it arrived December 30th and was
written over the 5th,6th,9th and 11th December. The letter was 11 pages
long! But Nick said he could have written many more, but of course its not
allowed. Now he rations himself to writing so much each day so he can
spread it out over the month. Also because all his books have been taken
away and he only has one he rations himself to reading one or maybe two
chapters a day. He can request another book and has done so but it takes a
month or so for his request to be dealt with. Nick says it may be February
before he receives books and his picture of George [his son]. I was amazed
that they had taken his Bible away. This too has to be requested for it to
Nick was allowed to include a further 3 page letter to his son George, I
personally think that a father should be allowed to write to his son each
week. Let's hope the new rules in May this year see an end to this one
letter per month rule.
Nick says he can receive language books so he can learn another languages
but they must be sent via the British Embassy this is the address :-
No 1 Ichiban-cho
Please mark the envelope for Nick Baker, 4595 Fuchu.
Nick as also asked if I can get him some reference books on Plumbing as he
would like to be able to be a plumber when he returns home. He has been
given permisson to receive books on this but once again, they have to be
sent via the British Embassy. If anyone can help with this one can you
please let me know.
At the time of writing the letter, Nick was scraping labels off
coathangers! He did this with two other men. Nick hopes he will not be
doing this for long. One of the men with him, an elderly Chinese man, has
been doing it for 12 months!!!! He says that no one talks to him or Nick
and Nick knows that he feels as lonely as he does (this is very sad in a
prison with over 2800 prisoners!!) But of course its early days for Nick
and I'm sure he has to be accepted. As Nick rightly says " we are all equal
here in Fuchu and we should help and support each other no matter who we
Other news on Nick, he says his asthma is much worse in Fuchu especially at
night. He still has to request medicine for this and often has to wait too
Nick says its study day every other Friday, but until he receives study
books these days will be dead days for Nick and very boring. So can we all
work together to send what we can as soon as we can?
Nick had received his first lot of post in Fuchu, 12 letters and cards (I
guess birthday cards) he thanks everyone for their kindness and hopes you
will all continue to write to him and by May 2006 he hopes to be able to
reply to you.
Nick continues to talk about his transfer back to the UK so that he can see
his son. I know he is very lonely but please know that all your continued
kindness and support will keep Nicks spirits high until Justice can be
done. I know Nick would like to wish you all a wonderfully happy and lucky
Let Human Rights and Justice for everyone be the Priority of all in 2006.
Year End Message from Iris - 20th December 2005
To All Friends and Supporters of J4NB -
Well, here we are at the end of 2005, you will all know that Nicks appeal
did not turn out as we expected and Nick is now serving time in Fuchu
prison. I will not make a statement about my feelings about Nick's trial
and appeal as I know you are all well aware of my thoughts and opinions!!!
Together with Nicks support group we will be working towards getting Nick
transfered back to the UK as soon as possible.
J4NB still has the continued support of Fair Trials Abroad, The Baroness
Sarah Ludford MEP, Norman Lamb MP and other MP's, Kay Danes and the FPSS,
together with many hundreds of supporters all around the world. Support
for Nick still grows daily which is amazing really.
Click Here for Complete Story
NEWS UPDATE NOVEMBER 26TH 2005
Iris Baker has recently informed FPSS that letters to her son [Nick Baker]
can now be directed to him at Fuchu Prison in Tokyo. Our thoughts and
prayers remain with this family as they continue to endure the nightmare!
NEWS UPDATE OCTOBER 27TH 2005
The Judge has pronounced the verdict - GUILTY.
The District Court sentence is quashed.
Nick Baker gets 11 years and 3 million Yen fine. 240 days are taken into consideration
for time already in detention. This is very sad news and our thoughts go out to Nick, Iris and and
those kind people who work to further this case.|
Click Here for Post Appeal Release
Nick Baker High Court Appeal Finished
My son Nick's High Court appeal ended on Thursday 21st July 2005. The Judges will hand-down their verdict on Thursday 27th October 2005.
I am encouraged by the earnest examination by presiding Judge Tao, of the issues Nick's defense team were allowed to present and I hope and trust that he and his colleagues will carefully consider the main points raised in the appeal: i) The unreliable testimony of customs officer "K", whose statements concerning the location of the suitcase key changed at every turn. ii) The inconsistencies and procedural errors evident in the item confiscation reports. iii) The expert opinion by Professor Mizuno relating to the sub-standard translation and interpretation both at the initial police interrogations and district court hearings. Giving due consideration to these and all the other evidence in this high-profile case, I strongly believe they will deliver an honorable and just decision.
I am however concerned about prosecutorial-led trial conditions and the fact that prosecution is not required to disclose evidence favorable to the defense. I believe that this unfair balance is one of many areas that demand reform.
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JUSTICE FOR NICK BAKER CAMPAIGN CONTINUES IN 2004
THERE WILL BE A PRESS CONFERENCE IN LONDON ON FRIDAY JANUARY 9TH 2004 at
AT THE UK OFFICES OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
2 QUEEN ANN'S GATE LONDON - SW1H 9AA
ATTENDING WILL BE: MR SHUNJI MIYAKE, NICKS JAPANESE LAWYER, BARONESS SARAH LUDFORD MEP
,SABINE ZANKER FAIRTRIALS ABROAD,IRIS BAKER
MR Miyake is at present in Belgium in the hope that he can get the
evidence needed for Nicks appeal. He will be back in London on Thursday in
readiness for the Press Conference.
If you require any further information please contact the office of
Baroness S Ludford on 0207 2882526.
I hope to see you all in London on Friday and that you will continue to
support my fight for Justice and a fair trial for my son.
Happy new year to you all
FREEDOM IS A RIGHT OF ALL HUMAN BEINGS IN A WORLD WHERE LIFE IS VALUED AND PEACE MAY FINALLY BE A POSSIBILITY
Just in case you forgot - read the Universal declaration of Human Rights
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