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South Korea: Over 41 years in prison: two of the world's longest-serving prisoners of conscience

, Index number: ASA 25/031/1994

This document updates a report published in December 1993 about Ahn Hak-sop and Kim Sun-myung, two men who have been in prison for over 40 years and whom AI considers to be prisoners of conscience. One year later, they are still in Taejon prison, with little apparent prospect of early release. They continue to be held in solitary confinement and there is concern about their physical and mental health. They were originally sentenced to life imprisonment during the Korean War on charges of espionage on behalf of North Korea. Available information suggests that they were tortured during interrogation and tried unfairly. AI believes that the reason for their continued detention is their refusal to sign a statment of "conversion" to anti-communism.

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