Carlos Ghosn is still awaiting a decision on his release request, when his wife, Carole, writes two letters that attract significant media attention.
In her nine-page letter dated 8 January 2019, Carole Ghosn condemns numerous violations by Japan of international conventions.
She describes her husband’s circumstances in custody and the lack of fair treatment. She also shines a light on the country’s ancient “hostage justice” system that her husband is a victim of, a system which the media hardly comments on as Yahoo News reports.
This letter resonated with Kenneth Roth, already engaged in tackling the matter with Human Rights Watch, and who now supports Carole and Carlos Ghosn’s fight.
The second letter from Carole Ghosn on 10 January 2019 is to the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron. Its existence becomes public just a few days later, following confirmation that Emmanuel Macron will respond shortly.
“How can a democracy keep someone who is presumed innocent for so long in detention and in such conditions? Life in solitary confinement is a straightjacket designed to break him. […] I am very worried about my husband’s health. I know that he has lost 10 kilos. The French ambassador in Japan thinks he is very weak, which makes me anxious.”
The French government’s response comes a few days later, on 20 January, from Bruno Le Maire on RTL radio:
“We guarantee the consular protection which we provide to any French citizen across the globe. Our ambassador in Japan meets Carlos Ghosn regularly. Of course, he reports back on these meetings. For anything further, there is a legal process in train. It is not for me to express a view on the Japanese judicial system. However, we are doing everything we can to ensure that Carlos Ghosn’s circumstances are as good as they can be.”
Nevertheless, numerous events took place in these 10 days.