EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 25/14/94
25 March 1994
Further information on UA 78/94 (ASA 25/12/94, 1 March 1994) - Mass
Arrests/Fear of Ill-Treatment/Legal Concern
SOUTH KOREA:Hwang Seung-hyun
Lee Sang-yeop (f)
Lee Yoon-jung (f)
Kim Mee-kyung (f)
Amnesty International has received reports that another six members and
supporters of the singing troupe Heemangsae were arrested on 24 March in Seoul.
They were arrested after participating in a peaceful rally to demand the release
of five other Heemangsae members detained on 21 and 22 February, apparently
suspected of planning to stage a musical based on a book which the authorities
said praised North Korea. Amnesty International is concerned that the six
detainees may face ill-treatment during police interrogation.
The six detainees were arrested in the afternoon of 24 March by about 15
plainclothes police officers who produced no warrant of arrest. They were
taken to the Security Division of the Seoul Police Headquarters. They were
not permitted to see a lawyer until late that night. According to the lawyer,
the detainees still did not know the exact charges against them after several
hours in detention.
Political detainees in South Korea are routinely deprived of sleep for long
periods in the days following their arrest, during which confessions may be
extracted under duress. Amnesty International is concerned that they appear
to be prisoners of conscience, held solely for the exercise of the right to
freedom of expression and association.
Amnesty International is also concerned that the current state of tension in
the Korean Peninsula may be used by security forces in South Korea to detain
members of the domestic political opposition.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and
airmail letters either in English or in your own language:
- urging the South Korean authorities to ensure that all the detainees are
protected from torture and ill-treatment in custody, given access to relatives
and allowed private meetings with lawyers in full accordance with international
- urging the authorities to release all six detainees, if they are not charged
promptly with recognizably criminal offences;
- urging the authorities to account publicly for the situation and charges
against those detained in mass arrest since February 1994.
1) President Kim Young-sam
The Blue House