south Korea: SUH Joon-Sik’s Trial Postponed


Urgent Appeal Case: UA980126
ISSUES: Administration of justice,

SUH Joon-sik, 49, the director Sarangbang human rights group, has been charged for screening a film called Red Hunt duing a human rights film festival. The authorities have claimed that the screening \”constituted a violation of the National Security Law (NSL).\” The film documents the mass killings on Cheju Island in 1948. Suh Jun-sik is detained at Youngdungpo Detention Centre. His trial before the Seoul District Court has been postponed to 30 January 1998.

The International Berlin Film Festival has invited Red Hunt to be viewed by an international audience.

For further information on his detention, please refer to AHRC\\UA971110 (south Korea).

Suh Suffers in Jail

Suh is suffering from the subzero winter cold temperatures as there is no heating system within the prison. Suh also has not been allowed to read his organization’s bulletin, Daily Human Rights News, or newspaper articles about his own case. On 6 January 1998, Suh appealed against forcing unconvicted prisoners to have their heads covered and to wear handcuffs when traveling to and from the court, stating that it is unconstitutional.

Background Information

A veteran human rights activist and former prisoner of conscience, Suh was arrested on 4 November 1997. He was detained for organizing a human rights film festival.

Suh was a prisoner of conscience from 1971 until his release in 1988. He was detained again for six months in 1991. Saranbang as a human rights organization promotes human rights education, the publication of human rights news and documentation. The National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) awarded him a human rights prize in December 1997.

Suh’s arrest came as the government claimed that there were no political politcal prisoners of concscience in the country.


Please send faxes and letters expressing concern that Suh Jun-sik is being detained for his peaceful human rights activities and his political views and call for his immediate and unconditional release. Furthermore, suggest that prisoners not be detained in subzero degree prison cells.


1. President Kim Young-sam, The Blue House, 1 Sejong-no, Chongno-gu Seoul, Republic of Korea. Faxes: (82) 2-770-0253

2. President-elect Kim Dae-jung, National Congress for New Politics, Hanyang Building, 4th Floor 14-31 Yoido-dong, Youngdungpo-gu Seoul, Republic of Korea. Faxes: (82) 2-784-6070 or 784-6690

3. Choi Jung-Yeul, Seoul District Court, Western Branch, 105-1 Kongduck-dong, Mapo-ku 121-713 Seoul Republic of Korea. Fax: (82) 2-704-4065

4. Diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Korea (south Korea) accredited to your country

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA980126
Countries : South Korea,
Issues : Administration of justice,