EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 25/13/91
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8 May 1991
Further information on UA 58/91 (ASA 25/02/91, 18 February 1991) - Union Leaders
Arrested and (new concern) Death of Prisoner of Conscience
SOUTH KOREA:PARK Chang-soo
On Monday 6 May prisoner of conscience Park Chang-soo died after reportedly
jumping from the window of Anyang Hospital. Park Chang-soo was one of seven
union leaders arrested on 9 February and charged under the Labour Dispute
Mediation Law which prohibits third party interference in labour disputes.
The seven were adopted as prisoners of conscience.
Park Chang-soo is reported to have jumped from the window of Anyang Hospital
in order to protest against the death of a 20-year-old student, Kang Kyung-dae,
who was reportly beaten to death with iron rods by riot police during a student
demonstration on 26 April. Five riot policemen belonging to the Paegoldan
(Skeleton Corps) have been arrested and charged with the murder of Kang
Kyung-dae. President Roh Tae-woo has made a public apology for the incident
and replaced the Minister of Home Affairs. There have been numerous
demonstrations protesting against the death of Kang Kyung-dae during which
two students and one ex-student burnt themselves to death. One other student
is in hospital after setting herself alight.
Park Chang-soo was apparently in Anyang Hospital at the time. He had been
transferred to the hospital from prison because of head injuries he had sustained
during a prison football match. He is also reported to have gone on on
hunger-strike in protest at Kang Kyung-dae's death. According to press reports,
on the morning of 6 April he had asked to leave the room to go to the toilet
and shortly afterwards his body was found in the hospital yard.
Amnesty International does not have any more information about the death
of Park Chang-soo. Dissident groups and trade unionists are reported as having
suggested that there may have been suspicious circumstances surrounding his
death and they would not let the police remove his body