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Press Clippings on human rights issues around the G20 summit #1

국제앰네스티는 외신기자들을 위한 G20 관련 영어뉴스클리핑 전달을 통해 G20 기간 동안 벌어질 수 있는 인권침해상황에 대해 준비하고 있습니다. 그 내용을 블로그를 통해 매주 공유합니다.

We aim to provide a collection of English summaries of press clippings in Korean to foreign journalists in South Korea. This collection of articles will highlight human rights violations committed by South Korean government authorities against activities by civil society organisations and individuals during the G20 Summit, which will be held in Seoul on 11-12 of November. Please note that the views of the news articles, DO NOT represent the view of Amnesty International Korea. Amnesty International Korea will monitor if any human rights violations are committed by government authorities during the G20 Seoul Summit, with particular focus on Freedom of Speech, Assembly and Association.

Title: Citizen’s Coalition for Democratic Media, commentary on the KBS ‘the G20 Special Programs’ and main news ‘reports on the G20’
2010.10.13, Korea Newswire

Full text in Korean: http://www.newswire.co.kr/newsRead.php?no=502663&lmv=A03

Prior to the G20 which will be held on November 11th at Seoul, Korean Broadcasting Station(KBS) is gearing up for the G20 and administration promotion through all means including Special Programs and News. On October 12th, KBS aired two-hour special program , starring Son Ji-Ae G20 Arrangement Committee spokesperson, Shin Min-Young the head of LG Economic Research, and others, supporting possibly unconstitutional security plans for the G20. With 100 days left on August 3rd, the news aired a segment promoting the meaning of hosting the G20. Following this, a segment has been airing every 10 days and they have been mostly propagandistic reports introducing college volunteers and ceremonial vehicles. All the while, KBS emphasized that it is the “official broadcaster of the G20 summit”. If a station becomes “the official broadcaster”, does it not have the obligation to air the minimal amount of criticisms? It brings back the memories of KBS that worked as the cheerleader for the oppressive military dictatorship that stomped on the citizen’s livelihood in the name of the Olympics.

Title: GNP says, “If agreement cannot be reached on “the Assembly Bill”, it will bypass through the chairman’s direct introduction”
2010.10.12, The Hankyoreh

Full text in Korean: http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/society/society_general/443461.html

The Grand National Party declared their firm interest to pass “the Amended Bill on Assembly and Demonstration Law” even if it means introducing the bill to the National Assembly through the Chairman’s authority to directly introduce it. Controversy over the issue is rising as the opposition party repeatedly expressed their opposition against the amendment which may be unconstitutional. Both sides of the parties have been exchanging heated remarks about restrictions on night-time assembly. Assemblyman Moon Hak-Jin of the Democratic Party claimed, “G20 is like a blackhole that sucks in workers’ and citizens’ demands for their rights” and “even the police report shows there has not been a complaint file over the noise due to night time assembly.”On the other hand, GNP assemblyman Ko Heung-Kil asked “because violent groups can penetrate into the country and cause problems during the summit, we plan to pass the bill shortly and “the police also expressed their need to pass the bill”

Title: No problem after permission…”night-time assembly is the key”
2010.10.12, Kyunghyang Sinmun

Full Text in Korean:
http://news.khan.co.kr/kh_news/khan_art_view.html?artid=201010122244235&code=910402

Prior to the G20 summit on the 11th and 12th of the next month, the Grand National Party attempts to push “the Amendment bill on the Assembly and Demonstration Law” through the National Assembly, which will implement restrictions on night-time assemblies held before sunrise and after sunset. The Constitutional Court of Korea declared such restriction is unconstitutional. After the decision, the Grand National Party Assemblyman Cho Jin-Hyung and others submitted an amendment that specifies the time to be “before 6am and after 10pm”. Although the ruling party argues such restriction is very much needed because it “threatens the security of the G20” and “citizens’ right to sleep is being violated”, there had been no file of complaints. Minbyun-Lawyers for Democratic Society’s member Lawyer Park Joo-Min stated, “The ruling party attempts to forcibly pass the bill while statistics clearly show that the foundation of the proposal is flawed.”

Title: Assembly and demonstration prohibited within 2km radius of COEX during the G20 summit
2010.10.11, Yonhap News

Full text in Korean:
http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=102&oid=001&aid=0004699790

During November 11th and 12th, all kinds of assembly and demonstration will be permanently restricted within 2km radius of the COEX, where the G20 summit will be held, as it is classified as the Safety Guard Zone. According to the controversial assembly bill, all assembly and demonstration will be permanently restricted within the designated area between November 8th and 12th.Police plans to establish 3 layers of protective walls around the complex and will position 30,000 policemen and 20,000 conscripted policemen, which will amount to the largest number of policemen ever positioned for a single event.Cho Hyun-Oh, the Chief of National Police Agency stated, “We will be paying undivided attention on minimizing the inconvenience of the public and assuring safe protection of the event. Various types of restrictions and screening require the public’s understanding and active cooperation to use public transportation and conduct peaceful assembly and demonstration.”

Title: National Police Agency, “Will not use sonic cannons”, water cannons will be used instead.
2010.10.11, Kyunghyang Sinmun

Full text in Korean: http://m.khan.co.kr/view.html?artid=201010112207415&code=940100

On October 10, the Chief Cho of National Police agency stated, “after the conference with the ruling party and the administration, the police decided to postpone the introduction (of the sonic cannon) until the public bond of sympathy is made” at the National Police Agency located at Migeun-Dong. He also added, “I ask all citizens to understand that there is general consensus that there will not be many intruders who interrupt the G20 which is necessary for the national development and betterment of the world economy”. However he reiterated that the motive behind the introduction of the sonic cannon is to prevent tragic clash between the police and the demonstrators who may possess lethal equipment and proposed “active use of water cannons in preparation for the G20.”

Title: Liberal groups urge to annul G20 Special Law and end human rights violations
2010.10.1, Yonhapnews

Full text in Korean: http://news.mk.co.kr/newsRead.php?year=2010&no=530256

“G20 People’s Response Action” comprised of civil society groups including Korean Confederation of Trade Unions assembled in front of Bosingak and urged the government to “annul the Special Law for the Safety and Security of G20″ which is used as an excuse for human rights violations committed against street vendors, homeless, and immigrant laborers” on October 1st. People’s Response Action declared the day as “International response day against G20, repression of democracy and human rights” and civil organizations in Hong Kong, Canada, and other countries assembled in front of Korean consulates. International Labor Organization Sharon Burrow Secretary General sent a document to Minister of Public Administration and Security MangHyung-Kyu urging annulations of the Special Law. Civil groups from 20 different countries supported People’s Response Action.

Title: “What is G20? Why is it driving us away?”
2010.7.20, OhmyNews

Full text in Korean:
http://www.ohmynews.com/NWS_Web/view/at_pg.aspx?CNTN_CD=A0001418809

“What is G20? What is it that we have to sacrifice our freedom? Leaders from all over the world have gathered to prevent global financial crisis. They speak as if they are going to do something but the poor are getting poorer and discrimination is getting deeper. Our lives are becoming unstable as well. We do not have any reason to sacrifice our human rights for this G20.” (Miryu, Sarangbang Group for Human Rights)
On October 20th, human rights groups held a press conference in front of Myung-Dong Cathedral criticizing human rights violations committed against immigrant laborers, street vendors, and homeless people. According to Miryu, all citizens standing within the designated area do not hold the right to resist arbitrary screenings, must leave the (COEX) compound if told, and get prosecuted for obstruction of justice if judged to be so. Choi Ye-Ryun, Social Committee Against Poverty Secretary General stated, “the government is engaging in an uncouth screening on the immigrant laborers and forcibly detaining them in a facility” and “threatening the livelihood of the day-to-day wage earners with outrageous crackdown on the street vendors in the name of street cleaning. Additionally, she pointed out the seriousness of the persecution against the homeless stating, “Jobless and homeless street-dwellers’ basic human rights are ignored as arbitrary inspections happened every night.”

Title: Japanese activist in “the G20 Black List” denied entry into the country
2010.7.5, Voice of People

Full text in Korean: http://www.vop.co.kr/A00000304991.html

Prior to opening of the G20 summit, Ministry of Justice and Immigration office has rejected the entry of an international liberal activist Sakota Hidefumi to the country which sparked controversy. As a member of Asia Wide Campaign(AWC), which conducts a continent-wide campaigns against imperialism of the U.S. and Japan, Sakota Hidefumi has been rejected entry into the country at Incheon Immigration office on October 1st. In relation to this rejection, the Immigration office official explained, “there was nothing we could do as the entry rejection list from the Ministry of Justice included Satoka Hidefumi.”“The entry rejection list” has been compiled as a part of “G20 summit immigration safety measure” for successful hosting of the G20 summit.
On the other hand, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, which has been hosting a joint event between the laborers of Korea and Japan, criticized the government stating, “In preparation of the G20, international NGOs’ visit to Korea is getting monitored already” and that “rejecting the entry of social activists as a pre-emptive regulatory measure is violation of human rights and international treaties”.

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