Since 2008, the South Korean authorities have increasingly used vaguely worded clauses of the National Security Law (NSL) to arbitrarily target people or organizations perceived to oppose government policies, especially on North Korea.
The briefing details eight emblematic cases to highlight Amnesty International’s concerns that the NSL continues to be used as a tool to silence dissent, to harass and arbitrarily prosecute individuals and civil society organizations who are peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association, opinion, critical debate and academic freedom. The provisions of the NSL have also been used as a form of censorship to restrict the online sphere.
These actions constitute violations of safeguards guaranteed by the South Korean constitution and the country’s international human rights obligations and commitments.
Amnesty International urges government of South Korea, newly elected members of the National Assembly and all Presidential candidates preparing for the December 2012 elections to commit to abolish or substantially amend the NSL in line with the country’s international human rights obligations and commitments.