Document - Further information on UA 298/90 (ASA 25/37/90, 13 July) - South Korea: Legal concern: Kim Myong-Shik, Puh Sah-Hyon, Lee Jae-ho, Yuh Jae-hyon
EXTERNAL (for general distribution)AI Index: ASA 25/43/90
Further Information of UA 298/90 (ASA 25/37/90, 13 July) - Legal Concern
SOUTH KOREA KIM Myong-shik, 45, poet and Director of ALAARI PUH Sah-hyon, 34, Secretary General of ALAARI LEE Jae-ho, 26, Researcher with ALAARI
YUH Jae-hyon, 37, president of Sonamu Publishing House
Four people who were arrested on 11 June 1990 for their activities for the Asia Africa Latin America Research Institute (ALAARI) have now been formally charged under the National Security Law. Kim Myong-shik, a poet and Director of ALAARI, Puh Sah-hyon, ALAARI's Secretary General, Lee Jae-ho, a researcher with ALAARI and publisher Yuh Jae-hyon, face prison terms for activities which the South Korean authorities claim "benefit" North Korea. Amnesty International believes that these prisoners are held in contravention of their rights to peaceful freedom of expression and association. It is calling for their immediate and unconditional release.
The ALAARI was set up in September 1987 by a group of people concerned about social justice and current international issues. It publishes a magazine, Grassroots, in Korean and in English (recent issues covered topics such as the plight of Korean farmers as a result of agricultural import policies, Korean reunification and the situation of Korean residents in Japan). It also conducts research into issues affecting the Third World and modern Korean history. It published a three-volume book on the 1948 Cheju Island Rebellion in which between 40,000 and 75,000 civilians are said to have been killed. Over the years several people who wrote articles or books challenging the official account of the rebellion as communist-inspired have been arrested and accused of supporting North Korea.
According to information released by the National Police, Kim Myong-shik was arrested for interrogation about the publication of the book on the 1948 Cheju Island Rebellion as well as other publications of the Institute. He is also being interrogated about speeches he gave at public meetings, articles he wrote and about his activities as chairperson of the International Cooperation Committee of the dissident organization, Chonminnyon (National Coalition for a Democratic Movement).
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern that the four people are held in violation of their right to freedom of expression and calling for their immediate and unconditional release.
Lee Jong-namLee Chong-guk
Minister of JusticeDirector
Ministry of JusticeNational Police Headquarters
1 Chungang-dongMinistry of Home Affairs
Republic of KoreaRepublic of Korea
Telegrams: Justice Minister,Telegrams: Director National
Kwachon, Republic of KoreaPolice, Seoul Rep of Korea
Telexes: 24757 MOJUST K Telexes: 24756 NEMUBU K
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 31 October 1990.