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Republic of Korea: Open Letter to President Moon Jae-in

Amnesty International would like to congratulate you on your election as President of the Republic of Korea. We look forward to working together with your government to improve respect for and protection and fulfilment of human rights in the Republic of Korea. We thank you for your office’s reply to our 8-point human rights agenda issued prior to the election. We appreciate your commitments to pursue a number of our recommendations outlined in this letter.

Date:
28 June 2017
Ref:
ASA 25/6615/2017
  • Research
  • South Korea
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Republic of Korea: Authorities fail to protect human rights: Amnesty International submission for the UN Universal Periodic Review, 28th session of the UPR Working Group, November 2017

This submission was prepared for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Republic of Korea (South Korea) in November 2017. In this submission Amnesty International expresses its concern about the governance of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea and the absence of a specialized body dealing with complaints against the police. The organization also raises concerns about restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and freedom of peaceful assembly, and violations of the rights of conscientious objectors, LGBTI individuals, migrant workers, and asylum seekers.

Date:
26 June 2017
Ref:
ASA 25/6500/2017
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Censorship and Free Speech

South Korea: Supreme Court ruling against jailed union leader a further setback for peaceful protests

South Korea must immediately release trade union leader Han Sang-gyun, Amnesty International said, after the country’s Supreme Court rejected his final appeal against a three-year jail sentence. Han Sang-gyun has been held responsible for others’ sporadic clashes with police and for his role in organizing a series of largely peaceful anti-government protests in 2014 and 2015. He has already been detained for one and a half years.

Date:
31 May 2017
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • LGBT Rights

South Korea: Soldier convicted in outrageous military gay witch-hunt

South Korea’s military must immediately end a bigoted hunt to root out gay personnel, Amnesty International said, after a serving soldier was convicted of having a same-sex relationship. The soldier, whose identity remains anonymous, was given a six month prison sentence suspended for one year at a military trial on Wednesday. The soldier fell down when the judgment was delivered and was taken to hospital.

Date:
24 May 2017
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Hope within prison walls: A letter from imprisoned Korean labour leader Han Sang-gyun

A leading labour union figure in South Korea, Han Sang-gyun, president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions is currently serving a three-year prison term after a South Korean court last year convicted him for his role as an organizer of a number of largely peaceful protests. His conviction and sentencing, reduced from five to three years on appeal after hearings to which Amnesty International sent observers, underlined the authorities’ intolerance of the right to peaceful assembly.

Date:
25 April 2017
  • Campaigns
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

South Korea: Further Information: Supreme Court upholds Korean activist’s sentence: Kim Hye-young

Kim Hye-young lost her second appeal, as the Supreme Court of South Korea upheld her two-year prison sentence. Authorities continue to refuse her outpatient treatment for mental health conditions, however her overall health situation has improved and she is due to be released in August 2017.

Date:
13 March 2017
Ref:
ASA 25/5852/2017
  • Campaigns
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

South Korea: Further Information: Activist held in solitary confinement: Lee Jin-young

Lee Jin-young is being held in solitary confinement after being formally charged under the National Security Law (NSL) for the online distribution of materials that are deemed, by South Korean authorities, to ‘benefit’ North Korea. If found guilty, Lee Jin-young could face up to seven years in prison.

Date:
27 February 2017
Ref:
ASA 25/5771/2017
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Demonstrations

South Korea: New blow for right to peaceful protest as appeal court upholds conviction of trade union leader

Today’s appeal court ruling reducing the prison sentence of trade union leader Han Sang-gyun cannot mask the authorities’ intolerance of the right to peaceful assembly in South Korea, Amnesty International said. The judges reduced Han Sang-gyun’s jail sentence to three years for public order offences and violations of the problematic Assembly and Demonstration Act, during a series of demonstrations in 2014 and 2015.

Date:
13 December 2016
  • Research
  • South Korea
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

South Korea: Freedom of peaceful assembly in South Korea and international human rights standards

While freedom of peaceful assembly is guaranteed in the Constitution of South Korea, other domestic legislation and practice governing assemblies falls short of international human rights law and standards. This briefing aims to provide an overview of international human rights standards on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly that are relevant to the situation in South Korea, and calls upon the authorities to take the necessary measures required to ensure the full enjoyment of this right in law and in practice by all people in South Korea.

Date:
8 November 2016
Ref:
ASA 25/5099/2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Women and Girls

South Korea: Stop criminalization of abortion

The South Korean government must withdraw proposed rules that would increase the penalty for doctors who perform illegal abortions, said Amnesty International, ahead of mass demonstrations planned by women’s rights groups on 29 October. On 23 September, the Ministry of Health and Welfare announced a revision of a rule on “inappropriate medical practices” that could increase the penalty for doctors performing illegal abortions from the current one-month suspension of business to a possible maximum of 12 months.

Date:
28 October 2016
  • Campaigns
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Demonstrations

After South Korean farmer's death, family continues fight for justice

“ “Grandpa, please wake up for me!” Dad, I taught your grandson Jio to say this ten times and he can now say it really well. Dad, Gio said he wants to play janggu (traditional Korean drum) and dance with his grandpa, so you have to wake up. ” Baek Minjuwha’s plaintive yet hopeful prayer to her father Baek Nam-gi posted on Facebook three days after the farmer fell into a coma now resonates with a keen poignancy.

Date:
27 September 2016
  • Research
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Refugees

South Korea: End secrecy surrounding North Korean restaurant workers

The South Korean authorities need to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding the North Korean restaurant workers. There has been much speculation, claims and counter-claims as to the group’s plight, but what is missing from this story are the voices of the 13 workers. For months they have been denied contact with their families or lawyers of their choosing, raising questions as to whether their basic rights are being respected.

Date:
11 July 2016
Ref:
ASA 25/4413/2016
  • News
  • Asia and The Pacific
  • Censorship and Free Speech

South Korea: Five year sentence against union leader a chilling blow to peaceful protest

The five year prison sentence handed down to a prominent union leader is the latest example of how the government is galvanising its attack on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in South Korea, Amnesty International said today. On Monday, the Central District Court in Seoul convicted Han Sang-gyun, the leader of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), for his role as an organizer of a number of demonstrations.

Date:
4 July 2016