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SOUTH KOREA: Ferry Sinks National Morale

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Statement : On April 16 of this year, a ferry sank and hundreds of lives were lost. Many students who died were from a single school. Dozens of passengers are still missing. This incident has signalled the public that they need to be more aware of the concept of 'safety'. Analysis from experts and the media has contended that structural flaws caused the ferry to sink. According to them three reasons were operative in the sinking. First, the ferry was carrying overweight containers that were not properly fixed to the deck. Read More...

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SOUTH KOREA: Unlimited punishment for holding different thoughts and ideas

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Statement : It is widely reported that Acts relating to national security created in various names throughout in Asia have been used, not to protect national security per se, but to oppress persons holding different ideas, or opinions, or critical of policies of the government. It is also a recognised trend that human rights defenders have been especially targeted by these Acts. As far as that of South Korea is concerned, the misuse of the National Security Act due to vague and wide provisions has received wide criticism both locally and internationally. However, another piece of legislation that has earned comparatively less attention in this regard is the 'Security Surveillance Act'. The Act raises another serious question, not only on the freedom of opinion, expression and consciousness, but also the deprivation of fair trial. Read More...

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Torture in South Korea
The Republic of Korea has recognised the competence of the Committee Against Torture pursuant to Article 21 and 22 of the Convention in November 2007.

However, two significant problems in the country exist. First, redress for the victims who were tortured and convicted through the confession by torture and fabricated evidence by the Agency for National Security Planning, the predecessor of the National Intelligence Service. After the establishment of Truth and Reconciliation Commission at the end of 2005, such cases were examined so that the victims can bring the result of the findings to the court for a review. However, such cases were reviewed mainly not based on the confession through the act of torture but prolonged detention.

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