Document - South Korea: Prisoner of conscience: Park In-bae
@Prisoner of Conscience Park In-bae
OCTOBER 1991AI INDEX: ASA 25/28/91
Park In-bae, a 38-year-old stage director, has been sentenced to two years' imprisonment for his non-violent political activities. Amnesty International has adopted Park In-bae as a prisoner of conscience and is calling for his immediate and unconditional release. It is also concerned at reports that he is in ill-health and is calling on the authorities to ensure that he receives adequate medical attention.
Park In-bae is Chairperson of the Seoul Labourers' Cultural Federation which is affiliated to the Korean National Artists Federation. He was accused of distributing four illegal tape recordings between 1989 and April 1991, the date of his arrest. The tape recordings were produced and distributed by small groups of people belonging to the Seoul Labourers' Cultural Federation and mainly consisted of songs written for the labour movement and performed by a variety of artists. Around 50,000 copies of the tapes were produced and sold. Under the law concerning the production of audio and video recordings, anyone who wishes to produce such a recording must submit an advance copy to the authorities.
The police are reported to have searched the offices of the Seoul Labourers' Cultural Federation and to have confiscated a number of the Federation's documents. They did not arrest any of the people involved in the manufacture of the tapes, or any of the other people involved in their distribution. Neither did they arrest any of the singers or song writers whose work was featured on the tapes.
Park In-bae was also accused of keeping the profits from the sale of the tapes for his own personal use. The Federation has denied this, saying that profits were minimal and were kept by the small groups of people who made the tapes.
The Seoul Labourers' Cultural Federation has seen Park In-bae's imprisonment an attempt to curtail the activities of their group. Amnesty International believes that he has been imprisoned for his peaceful political activities and is calling for his immediate release. It is also concerned at reports that he is suffering from diabetes and tuberculosis. On 24 September 1991 a doctor who examined Park In-bae in prison stated that he needed immediate hospitalization. Amnesty International is urging the authorities to ensure that Park In-bae is given all the medical care he requires.
INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT, 1 EASTON STREET, LONDON WC1X 8DJ, UNITED KINGDOM