Japan lawyers form group to support children of Jehovah's Witnesses followers

A group of lawyers in Japan has been formed to support children of followers of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization.

“We want to stop the violation of the human rights” of such second-generation followers, Jun Tabata, a member of the lawyers group, said at a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday.

On Monday, the group reported to the health ministry that the religious group continued to require its followers to refuse blood transfusions even after the ministry released in December its guidelines for dealing with abuse against children of religious group followers, which recognize that forcing them to refuse blood transfusions amounts to neglect.

The lawyers’ group was launched on Jan. 15 on the initiative of people including lawyer Kotaro Tanaka, himself a former second-generation Jehovah’s Witnesses follower.

“It’s certain that there is a serious problem within the religious organization,” Tanaka argued at the news conference.

Also on Tuesday, a former third-generation follower who uses the pseudonym Nana Natsuno attended the opposition camp’s hearing at Japan’s parliament.

Natsuno said she was forced to sign a “no blood transfusion” card and carry it with her at all times.

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