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Republic of Korea (South Korea): Arrest of trade union leader Kwon Young-kil

, Index number: ASA 25/030/1995

Kwon Young-kil, a trade union leader, was arrested on 23 November 1995. He is co-President of a new trade union federation, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU, Minju Nochong) which was formally inaugurated on 11 November 1995. Under provisions of South Korea's labour legislation, prohibiting "third party intervention", the KCTU is an illegal body. Yang Kyu-hun, the KCTU's other co-President, who is in hiding, is also wanted by the police. It is believed that Kwon Young-kil has been arrested for the peaceful exercise of his trade union activities and, as a prisoner of conscience, should be immediately and unconditionally released. Amnesty International is also calling for the amendment of Article 13-2 of the Labour Dispute Mediation Act in line with international standards relating to freedom of expression.

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