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Police crackdown on Daewoo Motor workers illegal: KBA

Posted April. 26, 2001 18:35,   


The Korea Bar Association (KBA) claimed Thursday that top police leaders should be punished for the excessive police crackdown on the demonstration by Daewoo Motor workers as they commanded the police force in a manner infringing upon basic labor rights, lives and physical rights. In a press conference, an investigation team of the KBA into the controversial police action against Daewoo demonstrators also claimed that the police should pay compensation to injured workers.

A spokesman for the team said that the top police executives that should be punished include national police chief Lee Moo-Young and those who were present at the scene. The investigation team said that it was hard to see that the police suppression of the demonstrators by force was caused by any action by a certain company or some troops as alleged by the police.

They presented as evidence a photo of Bae Mu-Jong, deputy chief of Inchon Metropolitan police Agency, taken at the very scene of the operation and the fact that some police from Seoul, Kyonggi and Kangwon police forces were mobilized.

Asked if police chief Lee should be punished because he was confirmed to have intervened in the case, lawyer Park Hoon said, ``We mean that the prosecution should investigate him thoroughly because the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions has already filed a criminal complaint against him.``

But police officials said that deputy chief of Inchon police, Bae, left the scene before the violent crackdown took place, noting that he was there with regard to an inspection by opposition Grand National Party lawmakers.

As for the controversial remarks by lawyer Park instigating the demonstrators to use violence against the police, the KBA team claimed that he made the remarks about two hours before the violence took place, meaning that they (the workers) could confront illegal exercise of police power. The team claimed that Park`s remarks were not believed to have stimulated unionized workers or caused the demonstration to become violent.

Shin Suk-Ho kyle@donga.com