South Korea: Statement of Amnesty International delivered at a seminar on South Korea at the European Parliament, Strasbourg, on 13 February 1992

AI’s concerns in South Korea are summarized here. Around 50 prisoners convicted of national security offences under previous governments are still imprisoned. The pattern followed by many of these cases is illustrated by reference to the case of Park Dong-oon, accused in 1981 of spying for North Korea. His conviction appears to rest on confessional evidence allegedly obtained under duress. Witnesses at his trial were reportedly intimidated. Hwang Tae-kwon, a prisoner of conscience, has been detained since 1985. More recent concerns are: four men arrested in January 1992 for attempting to form the “Korea Labour Party”; several artists imprisoned, incl. Hong Song-dam; five people jailed for illegall visiting North Korea and restrictions on the freedom of association of workers.

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