WBC and Japanese Boxing Association fight to gain overdue justice for Iwao Hakamada
It`s never too late to right a wrong and to rectify a long-standing injustice, so the World Boxing Council and the Japanese Boxing Association are uniting standing shoulder to shoulder, to resolve the case of former featherweight boxer Iwao Hakamada, who was wrongfully convicted of murder, following a coerced confession, which he later retracted.
Mr Hakamada was arrested in 1966, convicted two years later and spent forty-six years languishing on death row. He insists that during two hundred and sixty-four hours of interrogation, he was repeatedly assaulted and threatened until being physically beaten and browbeaten into signing a forced confession under extreme duress, which he retracted. The Guinness World Records confirms the years he endured behind bars with the ever-present threat of execution, is lamentably a world record. Finally, and belatedly, he was granted a retrial in 2014, when a District Court ruled there was reason to believe that evidence against him was falsified and his confession had been forced. The shadow of the noose was removed.
This surely should have been the end of it. But since then, the case has been bounced between Supreme, High and District Courts with calls for re-trial, even though the case had been resolved. The latest agonizing decision is for yet another re-trial. But the Prosecutor is now appealing against this too.
Mr Hakamada, who has had to endure decades of torment wondering day by day and day to day, when he was going to walk up the steps to the gallows, is now eighty-seven and in frail health. In the name of justice, decency and humanity he should be allowed to live what remaining years he left in peace! The World Boxing Council awarded him a Green and Gold Belt as a champion fighting for justice. Something to hold on to as a beacon of hope during the decades of darkness. With that he had support, fought on and didn`t despair.
We and the JPBA will NEVER give up supporting Iwao Hakamada in his quest for justice. It has been the fight of his life, for his very life! We are always in his Corner!