2 avril 2002
Japanese Activist Commits Suicide in Protest
Monday, April 01 2002 @ 12:19 PM GMT
TOKYO (AP): A Japanese campaigner for Palestinian rights committed suicide by setting himself on fire in a Tokyo park to protest the Israeli security clampdown in the Middle East, a fellow activist said Monday.
Takao Himori, 54, poured gasoline over his body and set himself alight Saturday, said his friend Masao Adachi.
Police spokesman Koji Hata confirmed that a man burned to death over the weekend in the park, but refused to reveal his identity.
``People watching the cherry blossoms suddenly saw flames shoot up and called the police,'' Hata said.
Himori, a member of the activist group ``Voice,'' frequently participated in hunger strikes and candlelight vigils in support of the Palestinian cause, said Adachi.
After firefighters extinguished the flames, they asked Himori if the burns were self-inflicted, Adachi said, quoting a police report shown to family members.
``He nodded in assent, and died,'' Adachi said.
A number of Japanese activist groups held rallies Saturday, celebrated by Palestinians
as ``Land Day,'' to protest Israel's crackdown on Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat. Israeli forces kept Arafat trapped in his Ramallah office for a fourth
day Monday, as they stepped up incursions in the West Bank.
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