From our friends at the Migrant Forum in Asia:
As of recent, there has been two raids on two NGOs (non-governmental organization) office – the he People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy and the Korean Alliance of Progressive Movements. Three human rights defenders (HRDs)have been arrested, while many have gone underground hiding. About 50 police officials from the Metropolitan Police raided the office of PSPD situated in Tongin-dong at 6 am yesterday. Three computers, pickets, sandbags, flags, two fire extinguishers, and other protest equipments have been confiscated, while 22 computers from the KAPM’s office was confiscated. Mr. Hwang Soonwon, Mr. Ahn Jingeoul, and Ms. Yoon Hee-suk, the staff presented at the offices were also arrested. These arrests have prompted other HRDs to go into hiding.
NAKASEC condemns these human rights violations perpetrated by the South Korean government to intimidate and suppress individuals and NGOs who have been active in opposing the controversial U.S.-South Korea beef deal. Click here to read entire text of sign-on letter: Asian NGO letter
Excerpted from a letter circulating from Asian NGOs:
“We feel that this direct threatening action to the work of the HRDs is a regressive move by the South Korean authorities. South Korea government needs to abide by the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which it ratifies. The ICCPR highlights that government has an obligation to protect the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly, these rights constitute as three basic rights.
In the South Korea’s pledge to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), it mentions that “the promotion and protection of human rights is a priority in [South Korea] national as well as foreign policy goals”. South Korea must make sure that what is pledged and promised at the UN forum will be fully implemented in the ground. If not this will be an enormous contradictory to South Korea’s placement at the UN HRC which should be upholding human rights at its fullest, not violating basic rights of its citizens themselves.”