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.
“Labor Union Summit” to be held before the G20
Full Text in Korean:?
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is hosting?“G20 Trade Union Summit) at Yeouido Lexington Hotel on 10th and 11th November. They are expected to adopt?“Seoul Declaration”?which consists of 10 clauses urging the G20 to actively/aggressively create jobs.
The Federation of Korean Trade Unions, along with trade union federations from Brazil (CUT), South Africa (COSATU), and Argentina (CTA), will host a debate about?“Voices of workers from Southern Hemisphere on the Global Economic and Social Problems”?at Jesuit Apostolic Center. On the same night, they will be having a banquet, inviting representatives of trade unions from each nation.
On the 10th, there will be a discussion with international agricultural groups on?“G20 and Economic Crisis; Free Trade Agreement and People’s Response”?at the Jesuit Apostolic Center.
The police monitors foreigners from Islamic countries for the G20… criticized for racism
Full Text in Korean:?http://imnews.imbc.com/replay/nwtoday/article/2734202_5782.html
Prior to the G20 Summit, the police have been focusing their monitoring on foreign nationals, especially those coming from Islamic nations.
In October, the police contacted a teaching assistant of a graduate school, asking the person?“to report on the daily lives of 9 Uzbekistani students, with the presumption that?‘terrorists’?could be contacting them”.
Prior to the G20 Summit, the police stated that they are specially monitoring 98 foreign nationals from countries suspected of aiding terrorism including 14 (so-called) terror-assisting countries as listed by the U.S.
“Anti G20” … Labor Assembly commemorating 40th anniversary of death of Jun Tae-Il.
Full Text in Korean:?http://www.cbs.co.kr/nocut/Show.asp?IDX=1626325
On the 7th, Federation of Korean Trade Unions hosted the National Workers’?Assembly at the Seoul Plaza which was attended by approximately 40,000 workers (police estimates 20,000) commemorating the 40th death anniversary of labor rights activist Jun Tae-Il.
They shouted,?“Now when we demand basic labor rights and tell the world that irregular workers also want to live like human beings, it isn’t very different from 40 years ago when people had to burn themselves to raise attention to their demands (for employers and government) to follow Labor Standards Act and informing the world that they also want to live like human beings”?and?“called upon workers to unite for their rights”.
When the assembly ended around 17:30 hours, participants attempted to march to Bosingak but they were stopped by the police. In the subsequent clashes (between demonstrators and the police), the police sprayed capsaicin pepper extract and arrested 4 persons. The police had deployed 111 companies consisting of 8000 police-men and women.
“Closed” by the G20…street vendors outraged
Full Text in Korean:?http://newsbeat.co.kr/include/list01_view.asp?tm=08&mm=14&bm=01&seq=74442
Kangnam-Gu District Office sent out?“Request for self-management of Illegal street vendors”?on October 18, asking nearly 200 street vendors to not work between October 27 and November 15. Also, on November 2, the District Office repeated its?‘request’?asking street vendors to close (their operations) by November 6.
Street vendors immediately went to the Street Management Team at the District Office and agreed not to work for 20 days near the G20 Summit venue???COEX building; and between the 7th and 13th near Sunreung Subway Station.
In relation to this, an official from the District Office, which has the power to conduct crackdown on these street vendors, stated that?“Because the street vendors are illegally taking over the sidewalk, crackdowns are inevitable.”?The official added that?“we have contacted people connected to the street vendors and they have agreed not to work for certain number of days”.
Controversy sparked after NGO activist denied entry into the country
Full Text in Korean:?http://www.ytn.co.kr/_ln/0103_201011061655079361
People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy stated on 5th night that Paul Quintos, Deputy Director of the Filipino civil group IBON International, who was to attend an international forum, was denied of entry into the country.
PSPD pointed out that Paul Quintos had no problems entering the country twice over the past two months; and that it was wrong to deny him entry without providing any reason.
In relation to this, the Immigration Office at the Incheon International Airport stated,?“(Paul Quintos’) entry was denied due to the decision of the government”; the Immigration Officer further added that?“specific reasons for the denial cannot be released due to security reasons”.
“Human Rights” threatened by the “Safe G20”
2010.11.5 Kyunghyang Shinmun
Full Text in Korean:
The notification by the National Eviction Victim’s Association for assembly between the 8th and the 12th (November) at five different locations has been denied because they happen to be within 1km perimeter of the streets being used by heads of G20 states.
The?“Thursday Assembly for abolition of the National Security Law”, which has been held without a single break since September of 1993 at Tapgol Park, cannot be held on the 11th when the G20 summit takes place. An alternative location could not be found as most of Seoul has somehow been designated as a non-assembly area,
On the 5th, a debate on?“Safe G20?: Human Rights in Danger”?was held at the National Human Rights Commission by a coalition of human rights NGOs. According to Lawyers for a Democratic Society member Park Joo-Min,?“The government and the police are excessively violating freedom of assembly and association, which could be seen as the most important of the rights.”?He also highlighted a case where?“the head of the security (for G20 summit)’s prohibition of an assembly using the?‘G20 Special Law’.”?He added the concern that?“the head of security’s allowing the deployment of military personnel when in need had the potential high risk of being unconstitutional”
The targeting by the police on foreign nationals and the homeless people was also criticized by conference panelists. The police had circulated a?“Pamphlet to Differentiate Terrorists”?that specifically stated that those targeted with suspicion included people having passports from countries of the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and Southwest America and other countries with links to international terrorist groups.
“Excessive measures for the G20… Stop human rights violations”
2010.11.5 Hankook Ilbo
Full Text in Korean:??http://news.hankooki.com/lpage/society/201011/h2010110517393021950.htm
As the G20 Summit fast approaches, citizens are complaining about discomfort from government’s strict measures related to terror and noise prevention and other strict safety measures.
The police recently asked the courts to disallow abusive nighttime motorcycle riders from riding at night. If the court accepts this request, 110 riders arrested since June must stay at home and answer phone calls from the police confirming their identity. A lawyer from Lawyers for a Democratic Society stated,?“in this case of restricting these people from going outside, restricting a specified group from going outside for the convenience of the administration and a national event exceeds the limit of probation.”
Seoul Seodaemun-Gu District Office posted a promotional poster asking residents not to take out food-trash on the 11th and 12th but quickly withdrew the plan due to public outrage.
When Seogang University notified the?“G20 People Summit”?that it will no longer provide the location just 5 days before the actual event, the co-chair of the?“G20 People Summit”?angrily pointed out that?“if there wasn’t massive pressure from the high ranking officials, enough to threaten a president of Seogang University, they would not have done such a poor job”?and?“this is embarrassing”.
Satirical cartoons forcibly taken down…”Strengthened restriction on freedom of expression in accordance with the G20”
2010.11.5 Voice of People
Full Text in Korean:??http://www.vop.co.kr/view.php?cid=A00000334271
“Beautiful, Young Man Jun Tae-Il’s 40th Anniversary Preparation Committee(Jun Tae-Il Committee) designated the days between the 30th of last month and the 13th of this month as?“Jun Tae-Il Memorial”?period and exhibited satirical cartoons about labor, young jobless, and temporary employees problem but the local office forcibly took it down.
Jun Tae-Il Committee held a press conference stating,?“without any notification, the office has forcibly took down the cartoon pieces under previous arrangements”?and?“the City and the office must apologize about the issue and must restore them immediately.”
Immigrant worker jumps to death while running away from crackdown
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Running away from the immigration officers, a migrant worker, who was in his 30s, jumped from the 2nd floor and passed away after 5 days of hospitalization on the 3rd November.
According to the Geumcheon Police Office on the 4th, a man only identified as J from Vietnam tried to jump out of a clothing factory building through 2nd floor window when Seoul Immigration Office Squad rushed in to arrest undocumented migrant workers
Human Rights groups plan to hold a press conference on the 5th in front of Seoul Immigration Office, located at Yangcheon- Gu Shinjeung-Dong, criticizing the indiscriminate crackdown on undocumented migrant workers.