NAHA (Kyodo) -- A prominent anti-U.S. base activist in Okinawa said Tuesday he hopes to draw attention to the "undue oppression" seen against base opponents in the island prefecture when he delivers a speech at a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council in mid-June in Geneva.
"I want to tell that our (freedom of) expression is being regulated through perfunctory laws and that this situation is going unchallenged," said Hiroji Yamashiro, 64, who was detained for around five months from October for what his supporters call minor offenses during base protest activities.
The head of the Okinawa Peace Action Center was released on bail in March and is currently on trial for allegedly obstructing official duties and other offenses.
According to ongoing arrangements by the United Nations and Yamashiro, he has been given two minutes to speak in front of government officials during the U.N. council's plenary session in the week of June 12. He also plans to speak at a related event.
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