http://base21.jinbo.net               
Jul. 21  2018
Write Article 
About Us 
 
Inter-Solidarity 
Christian's Photo Column 

Family members of victims of suspicious deaths stage sit-down strike for 27 days

"Even though my son who was dead mysteriously, cannot come back to life, I never want these tragedies to happen again in which young people are unjustly accused of suicide."




"Even though my son who was dead mysteriously, cannot come back to life, I never want these tragedies to happen again in which young people are unjustly accused of suicide."

"If we can reveal the truth about suspicious deaths, freezing weather will not be an obstacle to our struggle."

The above statements were made by the family members of the victims of suspicious deaths who have been staging a sit-down strike in Seoul for the last 27 days on the street in front of the office of the Grand National Party, the majority party in South Korea's National Assembly. Through their sit-in that began on Oct. 10, they hope to persuade the National Assembly to amend the Special Act to Find the Truth on Suspicious Deaths.

According to the statute of limitations of this legislation, on Sept. 16, 2002, the mandate of the Presidential Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths (PTCSD) ended. However, many cases of alleged suspicious deaths that have been brought before the PTCSD have not been investigated. During the two-year period in which the PTCSD has sought to reveal the truth about suspicious deaths that occurred during the country's previous authoritarian regimes, the PTCSD has received 83 petitions of alleged suspicious deaths. However, in only 19 cases has the PTCSD stated that the victims were killed by the State. In addition, the PTCSD has concluded that 30 cases are impossible to determine due to various limitations, and it has rejected 33 cases.

In fact, from the beginning, the victims' family members and human rights organisations have been concerned about the PTCSD's limited powers, short mandate to investigate cases and lack of ability to charge the perpetrators. Therefore, even though various progressive groups in South Korea and in the international community have urged the Korean government to amend the Special Act to Find the Truth on Suspicious Deaths in order to extend the mandate of the PTCSD and to strengthen its power to investigate the accused national institutions, the Korean National Assembly has not indicated any willingness to do so. At the present time, South Korea's politicians are only interested in the presidential election that will be held at the end of this year.

Therefore, 134 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in South Korea held a press conference on Nov. 4 in front of the office of the Grand National Party to urge the National Assembly to amend this legislation so as to extend the mandate of the PTCSD and to strengthen the body's power to investigate these suspicious deaths through the appointment of special prosecutors. Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of South Korea and Korean Bar Association have also supported these demands.

In order to create international pressure to amend the Special Act to Find the Truth on Suspicious Deaths, we are again urging you to send your appeal to the president and national assemblymen of South Korea. Presently, the amended legislation is now languishing in the Legislative and Judiciary Committee of the National Assembly.

If you need more information on this issue, please read our previous urgent appeal at .


SUGGESTED ACTION

Please send your appeal to the president of South Korea, to representatives of the ruling and opposition parties and to members of the Legislative and Judiciary Committee of the National Assembly to urge them to amend the Special Act to Find the Truth on Suspicious Deaths as soon as possible.


SUGGESTED LETTER (You may use your own words or use the following letter as a sample.)

Dear

I am writing this letter to express my deep concern that the Presidential Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths (PTCSD) has finished its work on Sep. 16, 2002, even though the truth of many alleged cases of suspicious deaths has remained uncovered.

My attention has been drawn to the work of the PTCSD, and I very much want the PTCSD to succeed as it will become a model for other countries in the world that have had or are still undergoing similar experiences. As you know, most Asian, Africa and South American countries have been under a military or developmental dictatorship; and as a result, millions of innocent people have been killed or have disappeared through state violence. However, because official investigations have not resulted in the filing of charges against the perpetrators, the perpetrators still continue to enjoy impunity.

Therefore, I strongly urge you to amend the Special Act to Find the Truth on Suspicious Deaths so that the mandate of the PTCSD will be extended until the truth about the country's suspicious deaths have been determined. Moreover, I ask that the PTCSD have the power to investigate cases through the appointment of special prosecutors. I also urge you to enact the new law as soon as possible to exclude the statute of limitations from applying to crimes against humanity as the United Nations has recommended.

I look forward to learning about your action on this important matter to the people of South Korea.

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

-------------

PLEASE YOUR LETTER BY FAX OR E-MAIL TO:

1. Mr. KIM Dae-jung
President of the Republic of Korea
1 Sejong-no, Jongno-ku
Seoul 110-820
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Fax: +822 770-0347 or 770-0001
Tel: +822 770-0018
E-mail: president@cwd.go.kr

2. Mr. SEO Cheong-won
Representative of the Grand National Party
17-7 Yoido-dong, Youngdeungpo-gu
Seoul, 150-010
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Fax: +822 3786-3110
Tel: +822 3786-3101-5
E-mail: webmaster@hannara.or.kr

3. Mr. HAHN Hwa-gab
Representative of the New Millennium Democratic Party
Kisan Building, 15 Yoido-dong, Youngdeungpo-gu
Seoul, 150-010
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Fax: +822 788-3428
E-mail: hahn@assembly.go.kr

4. Mr. HAM Suk-jae
Chairperson
Legislative and Judiciary Committee
17-7 Yoido-dong, Youngdeungpo-gu
Seoul, 150-010
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Tel: +822 784-3863
E-mail: hsj727@assembly.go.kr

And send copies of your letter to the members of Legislative and Judiciary Committee of the Korean National Assembly;

1. The Grant National Party (GNP)
- Mr. KIM Young-kyun: ykk01@asseembly.go.kr
- Mr. KIM Ki-choon: kckim@assembly.go.kr
- Mr. KIM Young-iel: http://01kim.pe.kr/board-list3.php?boardind=A05
- Mr. SHIM Kyu-cheol: shim114@assembly.go.kr
- Mr. WON Hee-ryong: heeryong@lycos.co.kr
- Mr. CHOI Byung-gook: bk2000@assembly.go.kr
- Ms. CHOI Yeon-hee: yhchoi@assembly.go.kr

2. The New Millennium Democratic Party (NMDP)
- Mr. HAM Seung-hee: runjs21@assembly.go.kr
- Mr. SHIN Ki-nam: skn@skn.or.kr
- Mr. LEE Sang-soo: sslee@assembly.go.kr
- Mr. CHUNG Kun-hwan: ckh21@assmebly.go.kr
- Mr. JOUGH Soon-hyung: shjough@assembly.go.kr
- Mr. CHOI Young-kyu: lawyk1@thrunet.com

3. Non-Negotiation Group
- Mr. KIM Hak-won: hakwonk@assembly.go.kr

2002 / -1 / 1-
BASE21 News Desk   base21@base21.org


 
Labor | Science & ICT | Society | Human Rights
Copylefted by base21.jinbo.net