The following is the information about the lobby activities for the Republic of Korea from the 14th session of the Universal Periodic Review. It is divided into two parts: Part 1 – suggested questions and recommendations for lobbying and Part 2 – a table of the official documentation from the national report, a compilation of UN information, and the summary of stakeholders’ information. This information was brought to the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development.
The following is an urgent appeal from 2008 to the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council by several South Korean NGOs regarding the Korea-US negotiations on beef imports.
Asian NGOs Urge the New Asian Member States of the Council ‐ Malaysia, the Maldives, Qatar and Thailand to Strictly Comply with the Highest Human Rights Standards
22 June 2010, Bangkok/Geneva – The UN Human Rights Council (Council) convened its organizational meeting yesterday on its fifth annual cycle (2010‐2011) and elected Ambassador Sihasak Phuangketkeow, the Permanent Representative of Thailand to the UN Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva, as the President of the Council for a period of one year. We, the undersigned 55 national and regional human rights organizations across Asia, urge Ambassador Sihasak Phuangketkeow to demonstrate his utmost leadership and competency in order for the Council to fulfill its mandate and responsibilities effectively and ensure meaningful participation of NGOs. Click to read more...
On March 24th, 2006 Korean and US NGOs submitted a letter to the United States Trade Representative voicing concern about copyright issues arising due to the Korea-US FTA Negotiation.
An Open Letter to the Chief Justice of Myanmar (Burma)
January 6th, 2012
Dear Chief Justice,
MINBYUN – Lawyers for a Democratic Society, a legal NGO in Special Consultative Status with UNECOSOC in South Korea, is writing to you regarding the letter submitted to the Burmese president dated November 4th, 2011 by sixteen lawyers who were disbarred because of alleged political crimes or politically related violations of their codes of practice.
According to the sixteen lawyers, they had their licences revoked unfairly and unlawfully, inasmuch as the revocations were not made in accordance with the correct procedure and were motivated not in response to breaches of professional codes of conduct but because of dissatisfaction by the authorities with their political activities
or their efforts to defend the rights of persons accused in political cases.
We are currently aware of thirty two lawyers who have had their licences to practise law revoked for their alleged political offences. We believe that there will be other lawyers aside from these thirty two in the same situation of having had their licences
revoked for political reasons, many having spent periods in jail.
Each of these thirty two lawyers did no more than to express their political opinions in accordance with the law. Many of them committed no wrongdoing other than to practice their profession in accordance with the relevant codes of conduct. Most of them did not get any opportunity to represent themselves or to have their cases heard prior to being stripped of their licenses, as required under the terms of the Bar Council Act, the Legal Practitioners Act and the Courts Manual, but were simply informed about the revocation of their licence via a letter.
In light of the unjust circumstances under which the licences of these lawyers were revoked, their shared concern for the upholding of the rule of law through professional conduct, and given the winds of change in the political circumstances in Myanmar of late, we respectfully request the Supreme Court to allow a review of the
decisions to revoke the licences of each one of these thirty two lawyers listed below, and others in similar circumstances, with a view to restoring them their professional qualifications, in order to enable them to fulfill their duty both to their profession and
to their country.
Chief of International Solidarity Committee
MINBYUN -Lawyers for a Democratic Society
SUPREME COURT ADVOCATES (licence numbers in brackets)
1. U Aye Myint (4377)
2. U Myint Than (2639)
3. U Har Mar Nyunt (1756)
4. U Myint Htay (1827)
5. U Khin Maung Thein (2694)
6. U Thaung Myint
7. Daw Khin San Hlaing (4203)
8. U Kyi Win (1506)
9. U Htay (3860)
10. U Khin Maung Thant (1784)
11. U Thein Than Oo (3695)
12. U Sein Nyo Tun (3978)
13. U Aung Thein (2703)
14. U Khin Maung Shein (4660)
15. U Robert Sann Aung (2469)
16. U Saw Hlaing (4666)
17. Daw Tin Htwe Mu (1447)
18. U Saw Htun (2791)
19. U Htun Htun Han
20. Thura U Tin Oo
21. U San Ni Tin Pe
22. U Aye Myint (Guiding Star) (4821)
23. U Myat Hla (1154)
24. Daw Hla Myint
25. “BBC” U Ne Min (2090)
HIGHER GRADE PLEADERS (licence numbers in brackets)
1. Daw Ohn Kyi (6764)
2. U Aung Kyi Nyunt (3710)
3. U Htun Oo (11942)
4. U Nyi Nyi Htwe (24702)
5. Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min (28261)
6. Ko Phyo Phyu / Yan Naing Aung
7. U Tin Aung Tun (21483)
Dec 28, 2010
MINBYUN Welcomes But is Unsatisfied with the Constitutional Court’s Decision of Incompatible with the Constitution on the Protection of Communication Secrets Act Article 6, Clause 7
Today, the Constitutional Court ruled Article 6 Clause 7 of the Protection of Communication Secrets Act as incompatible with the constitution for its infringement of the principle of proportionality due to its clause which fails to state limitations on the frequency and total period of communication-restrictions.1 Also the Court maintained that there is no way to limit communication-restriction and that privacy invasion is severe because the victim may not be aware of the restriction for a long time. Although the Constitutional Court ruled that the article is incompatible, so the court ordered that the law be provisionally applied until December 31st, 2011 in order to prevent a gap in the law.
According to Article 1 of the Protection of Communications Secrets Act, the purpose of the Act is to “protect the secrets of communication and further freedom of communications by confining its contents its objects and requiring it to go through a strict process of law with regard to limitation on secrets and freedom of communications and conversations” (Article 1). On the other hand, while Article 6, Clause 7 of the same act states that “…Provided, that if the requirement for permission under Article 5(1) are still valid, a request for extending the period of communication- restricting measures may be filed…” It does not limit the extension periods or the frequencies of communication-restriction, thus effectively incapacitating the purpose of the Protection of Communications Secrets Act.
We welcome but are not fully satisfied with the Constitution Court’s decision because the Constitution Court did not rule unconstitutionality that the Clause lost its effect immediately but rule Incompatible with the Constitution. As two justices’ opinion insisting the same clause simply as unconstitutional, if there is a need of communication-restriction by law enforcement agencies for investigation purpose, they can request a communication-restriction for not exceed 2 months and if they need to extend a period they can re-request a communication-restriction newly under the current law so that there is no gap in the law. However, the decision to provisionally allow the use of the law until next year permits unlimited extension of communication-restrictions by law enforcement agencies, thus severely violating basic rights.
We strongly request that the National Assembly should reform the system following the Constitutional Court’s decision so that no one is indiscriminately watched by the government. Also, law enforcement agencies should respect the decisions purpose and change any and all investigation processes which violate individual rights. The Court should strengthen legal restrictions concerning unlimited communication-restriction extension claims.
MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society
We strongly condemn the ROK government’s deportation measure on Benjamain Monnet and Angie Zelter.
Benjamain Monnet, a peace activist, who had been protesting the construction of a naval base in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, was deported at 7:30 pm on 15 March 2012, through Incheon International Airport. Angie Zelter was also asked to leave the country on 22 March 2012. Such action clearly demonstrates the government’s unwillingness to listen to the opposing voice against the construction of the naval base, and the incapability of the government to ensure the stay of international peace-seeking activists.
The Immigration Office issued the compulsory eviction order within just a few minutes after the investigation on Monnet was done. Accordingly, we carried out every possible due process of law, filing the revocation litigation against the compulsory eviction order, and requesting the suspension of execution. However, the Immigration Office ignored such efforts and executed the eviction order within less than 24 hours. It is clear that the government had already decided to deport Monnet hence the investigation was just spin.
The Immigration Office did not notify the lawyer, even though they were fully aware of the fact that Monnet planned to hire a lawyer and file the revocation litigation against the compulsory eviction order. Monnet did not even get a chance to make a phone call when he was deported. Furthermore, when the lawyer requested the Immigration Office to give them a copy of the compulsory eviction order and the protection order, the office did not make a prompt action, making a bunch of excuses before issuing them almost an hour later. While the deportation measure was preceded with quite a swift action, the effort to ensure legal procedure to fight against illegality and unjustness was proceeded slowly enough to seem deliberate.
In the course of his transfer from Jeju to Hwasung, Monnet asked to change clothes, but the Immigration Office rejected it saying, “You can change in the car.” The very basic request for human dignity was ignored.
The deportation order made on Angie Zelter shares the same issue. She was ordered to leave the country by March 22, 2012. If she does not leave the country voluntarily by the due date, the compulsory eviction order will be put into practice. The government is not capable of handling the Nobel Peace prize nominee’s activity.
It is fairly anomalous that the execution of the deportation order was done within less than 24 hours after the order was issued.
We, Minbyun-Lawyers for a Democratic Society, are seriously concerned about the administrative measures of the ROK government against both of the international peace activists, Benjamain Monnet and Angie Zelter, who are against the destruction of Gureombi. The ROK government is internationally disgracing itself by violating one’s human rights. We thus will initiate international legal proceedings by reporting this to the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and requesting an appropriate intervention. In addition, we will strongly condemn the government’s unlawful measure in solidarity with Human Rights organizations abroad.
March 16, 2012
Minbyun-Lawyers for a Democratic Society
Chairman Sun-soo, Kim