Naval Officer Wrongfully Imprisoned in Japan

On Could 29, 2021, Lt. Ridge Alkonis, his spouse Brittany, and their three younger youngsters…

On Could 29, 2021, Lt. Ridge Alkonis, his spouse Brittany, and their three younger youngsters went on a special occasion journey. About to be deployed aboard the USS Benfold, Lt. Alkonis let every of his youngsters plan an exercise to do as a household earlier than he left. His youngest daughter needed to hike Mount Fuji after which get ice cream at certainly one of their favourite retailers close to the bottom of the mountain.

Mount Fuji

After a joyful day of mountaineering, the household started to drive down the mountain and head in direction of Fujinomiya. As they entered the town, Lt. Alkonis all of a sudden, and with out warning, misplaced consciousness. He slumped to the facet and the car drifted throughout site visitors and crashed into a number of parked autos in a restaurant car parking zone. Neither the screams of his daughter nor the next crash roused him. Tragically, an aged Japanese lady and her son-in-law each handed away on account of the accident.

Regardless of the medical emergency Lt. Alkonis skilled, he was not taken to a hospital for analysis. He was instantly arrested and detained, the place he remained in solitary confinement for 26 days. Lt. Alkonis endured each day and prolonged interrogations with out illustration and was disadvantaged of relaxation by being compelled to sleep immediately below brilliant lights.

He was indicted on fees of “negligent driving” and launched on bail. Lt. Alkonis lastly acquired a medical analysis and was recognized by naval docs and neurologists with Acute Mountain Illness. The situation causes sudden syncope (fainting) and might have an effect on a person for as much as 24 hours following fast adjustments in altitude, which Lt. Alkonis skilled when he drove down Mount Fuji. A number of people have reached out to the Alkonis household to share comparable experiences once they witnessed fellow climbers all of a sudden faint after descending Mount Fuji.

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Lt. Alkonis and household

For the Japanese legal justice system, which locations excessive worth on real acts of regret and restitution, such settlements typically avert legal prosecution. Because the official proceedings concluded, Lt. Alkonis and his illustration anticipated a three-year suspended sentence, thought-about the norm for circumstances like this.

That’s when the choose introduced a three-year jail sentence for Lt. Alkonis, claiming he was fatigued and acted irresponsibly by persevering with to drive. There isn’t any proof to assist this declare; all relations, together with Lt. Alkonis and his daughter, who was awake on the time of the crash, said he was well-rested and alert. The proof by docs and neurologists of Acute Mountain Illness had not been permitted to be offered on the trial. In line with household studies, the shock on the sentence was palpable.

Lt. Alkonis is at present out on bail and stays in Japan as he appeals the choice. His household

 now seeks assist to convey him house 

and to reveal the injustice he faces by the hands of the legal justice system in Japan. For a household with a lot respect and love for the Japanese folks, the method has been excruciating. Nevertheless, they imagine Lt. Alkonis is harmless and that his story must be shared.

On the coronary heart of their petitions are clear violations of the Standing of Forces Settlement (SOFA). SOFA is an settlement between a number nation, similar to Japan, and a international nation that has navy forces stationed there. . . .

Modifying: Erica P. Wissinger

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