Jun. 18  2024
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Don't use the National Security Law to suppress the Internet!

Release Kim Kang-pil!

Source  :  BASE21

PatchA / BASE21 media activist

Police arrested Kim Kang-pil, a member of the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) in South Korea on July 25th. Kim uploaded several materials related to North Korea onto the bulletin board of DLP website. Prosecution claimed his actions violated the National Security Law, Article 7, Clause 1 (an act advantageous to the enemy) and Clause 5 (bringing the materials of profit to the enemy); in this clause enemy means North Korea.

The court judged that Kim violated National Security Law and sentenced him to one year’s imprison and one year’s disqualification. A prison sentence because of uploading materials on website is very exceptional case. Recently those who were arrested for violating the National Security Law by uploading materials on the website were just sentenced to a suspended sentence.

The Joint Committee against Government Internet Censorship, an alliance of 56 organizations, issued an official statement against the prosecution. "With this case, it is clear that the government monitors the websites of civic and social organizations. The courts have already acknowledged that this sort of conduct cannot threaten national security. So there has to be some other reason for this punishment."

Last year, prosecutors harrassed potential witnesses at certain websites deemed to infringe the National Security Law, and restricted the activities of several people including Jung Myung-A, Kum Su-kyung and Jun Ji-yun.

Many social and civic groups have requested that the National Security Law, especially Article 7 Clause 1 and 5 should be abolished because it violates freedom of expression and thought. But the government has so far refused to do so.

The Joint Committee against Government Internet Censorship added, "The Internet should be a place where people can express their opinions freely. Rounding up witnesses and monitoring the Internet disturbs democratic communication."

Min dong won, who is a member of Committee for free of Kim kang-pil, said “I could not help being indignant. Why is it a crime to discuss about ideology of North Korea on the internet? Kim kang-pil just expressed his point of view. He’s not a guilty”

The committee decided to apply about the judge. Now Kim kang-pil is in prison at Seoul detention house.
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