TOKYO - A rally proclaiming the innocence of Govinda Mainali, who is currently serving a life term in a Japanese jail, was held in Tokyo this weekend. Nearly 100 laywers, human rights activists and Nepalis in Japan took part in the event which was organised by the pressure group, "Justice for Govinda". Mainali, 36, has been kept in detention despite an acquittal by the Tokyo District Court and is accused in the rape-murder case of a Japanese woman in Tokyo in 1997.
Mainali's lawyers say the Nepali worker who was overstaying his visa in Japan was framed by the police, and have appealed to the Supreme Court. A final decision by the court is expected soon. Japanese activists like Kenzo Akiyama, a former judge and lawyer, says there are many cases of police and prosecutors cooperating to falsely convict illegal migrants in Japan for crimes they didn't commit.
The respected human rights group, Peoples Aid and Relief Association of Japan (Kyuenkai) recently put its weight behind the campaign to get Mainali released and returned to Nepal.
Govinda Mainali's wife Radha is currently in Japan, and visits her husband in jail to keep his spirits up. "I am very glad and appreciate the efforts by our Japanese friends to get my husband released," she said. Mikiko Kyakuno of the Justice for Govinda group said, "We will continue our struggle until Govinda is released. This case has tarnished the image of Japan's judicial system."