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Japan Fined for Prison Violence

December 3, 1998

TOKYO (AP) _ A Japanese court today ordered the federal government to pay $1,260 in compensation to an American who was beaten up by guards at a Japanese prison, his lawyer said.

Keith Dickerson, 33, of Santa Barbara, Calif., was pushed to the floor and beaten by five prison guards at the Tokyo Detention House on Sept. 11, 1995, his lawyer Kazunori Saito said.

The beating occurred after Dickerson, who had been indicted on a theft charge, tried to talk to another non-Japanese inmate in a separate cell on his way to attend a court session, Saito said.

The guards took Dickerson to another cell, where some of the guards trampled on his back, the lawyers said. Dickerson suffered minor injuries to his face and eye, the national broadcaster NHK said.

Kishiro Kawashima, presiding judge of the Chiba District Court, ruled Dickerson had suffered ``mental pain″ as a result of the incident and ordered the compensation payment.

Dickerson had sought $27,700 in compensation, Saito said.

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