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[Media Advisory] Amnesty International: Conscientious Objectors to speak out from prison on International Conscientious Objectors’ Day

Locked inside in a recreated 8 x 4 x 2 meter prison cell in central Seoul, conscientious objectors to demand that the new administration establish an alternative service system

 

  • Date and Time: from 11 am, Monday, 15 May 2017
  • Location: North End, Gwanghwamun Plaza, Seoul
  • Organizer: Amnesty International Korea
    * As there will be a dramatic performance following the press conference, we expressly encourage interest from photojournalists.

At 11 am on Monday, 15 May Amnesty International Korea will assemble in an open air prison in Gwanghwamun Plaza, to stand with conscientious objectors in calling for an end to their ongoing imprisonment and recognition of their human rights to mark 2017 International Conscientious Objectors’ Day.

At the end of April 2017, at least 397 conscientious objectors were imprisoned in South Korean jails simply for exercising the universally recognized right to object to military service for reasons of conscience. Assembling behind the metal bars of an 8-meter wide, 4-meter deep and 2-meter high prison cell in central Seoul, participants dressed in prison uniforms will join 20 conscientious objectors to hear some of their stories and demand that their human rights be respected.

South Korea continues to imprison more young men for conscientious objection than any other country on earth. To date, more than 19,000 South Korean men have been imprisoned over the last 60 years for exercising their right to conscientious objection. Despite initially announcing its intention to establish an alternative service system in 2007, the South Korean government has made no progress and continues to violate the rights of conscientious objectors by imprisoning them and failing to recognize their rights – even in the face of repeated criticism by the United Nations and the international community.

With President Moon Jae-in just days in office and in the global spotlight, Amnesty calls on him to live up to his promise to take action on conscientious objection to ensure that no more young men are sent to prison. In a response to a questionnaire submitted by Amnesty International to presidential candidates prior to the election, President Moon pledged to bring domestic law into line with international standards, to recognize the right to conscientious objection and “Ensure that, if conscientious objectors are not entirely exempted from military service, they have the option to perform an appropriate alternative non-punitive service of a genuinely civilian character which is under civilian control and of a length comparable to that of military service.”

We invite you to join us to help ensure that the voices of conscientious objectors are heard and delivered to the new president so that South Korea can finally live up to its international human rights obligations and respect, protect and promote the fundamental rights of all citizens.

Event Timetable• Testimony 1: Dong-hyeok Na, conscientious objector released from prison on 30 September 2005
• Testimony 2: Jeong-hun Hong, currently appealing his 20 April 2017 sentence of 1 year and six months imprisonment for objecting to military service
• Statement 1: Joo-min Park, National Assembly Representative of The Minjoo Party
• Statement 2: Catherine Heejin Kim, Director, Amnesty International Korea
• Official Press Statement Reading
• Performance

END

제목[Media Advisory] Amnesty International: Conscientious Objectors to speak out from prison on International Conscientious Objectors’ Day
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