Statement of the Anti-US Bases Network on the October 16 rape case by US military servicemen
The Asia Pacific Anti-US Bases Network condemns in the strongest possible terms the raping of a Japanese woman in Okinawa by two US sailors last 16 October 2012.
The woman was walking to her home when she was allegedly attacked and sexually assaulted by the two. One of the suspects, Able Seaman Christopher Daniel Browning, 23 years of age, admitted to the crime while his cohort, Third Petty Officer Skyler Dozierwalker, denied it. Both belong to the Fort Worth Naval Air Base in Texas, USA.
Such a crime is unconscionable and both servicemen deserve to be punished and put to jail, if proven guilty. A swift and independent investigation is in order and the authorities of the Okinawa prefecture should carry this out while ensuring the suspects do not flee Okinawa or the country in the course of the investigation.
We in the network, composed of organizations and individuals across Asia Pacific calling for the removal of all US military bases outside the US soil, demand also that the US government should not interfere but instead respect the Japanese authorities in conducting the investigation or resolving the case.
We express grave concern that the rape case will not be resolved and the victim will not get justice if both the Japanese and American authorities once again resort to dropping the case and allow the US military officials to â€œenforce official disciplineâ€ on the suspects.
This long-running â€œagreementâ€ between the two governments has caused many frustrations and anger among the people of Okinawa and Japan as many crimes committed by US military servicemen in the past remain unresolved. Who will not be affronted when the victim of the 14 October 2007 gang rape in Hiroshima and the Filipina woman raped in Okinawa in February 2008 still call for justice until now?
We fear that more crimes will be committed and more women, children and people will be victimized if the meting out of the justice will be placed in the hands of the US military forces. Such an agreement is truly unacceptable and unjust.
The Asia Pacific Anti-US Bases Network is one with the people of Okinawa and Japan who are continually demanding the Japanese government to immediately remove the 47,000-strong military naval base in Okinawa.
The Asia Pacific Anti-US Bases Network raises the call to having all US military bases in Japan and everywhere in the world to be pulled out. With continued presence and basing of the US military forces in Asia Pacific, the rape and abuse of our women will only worsen. Furthermore, nations and peoples in the region will only be dragged to the war of aggression that US imperialism has been intensifying.
Mr. Ramon Bultron
Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)
Office Address: G/F, No. 2 Jordan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
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