South Korea: Long-term prisoner Yu Chong-sik
Yu Chong-sik, aged 53, has served 18 years of a life sentence under the National Security Law. There is concern that he may be a prisoner of conscience, convicted on the basis of a confession obtained under torture. He was arrested on 2 March 1975 by officials of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA), and in July 1975 he was sentenced to death by Seoul District Court on charges of espionage. His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment on appeal in November 1975. Human rights groups and relatives claim the charges against him were fabricated, and that he was tortured during interrogation. His case is similar to that of many other political prisoners sentenced to lengthy prison terms during the 1970s and 1980s. He is currently held in Andong prison.