Go to contents

National Human Rights Commission Launched and Received 91 Petitions of Human Rights Violation

National Human Rights Commission Launched and Received 91 Petitions of Human Rights Violation

Posted November. 27, 2001 09:05,   


The National Human Rights Commission was officially launched on Nov. 26 and received 91 petitions related to the human rights violation and the discrimination cases by 3 o`clock present.

However, full operation of the Commission will not be possible since it began its duty with 11 committee members and 27 members of the organizing headquarters. The Commission has not reached an agreement with the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs on such issues as the number of committee members.

Over 20 petitioners rushed into the Commission`s office in Ima Builing, Chongno, Seoul, from 8 o`clock, an hour before its office hour.

The first petitioner was professor Kim Yong-Ik, Seoul National University Medical School. He submitted a petition on behalf of his student, Lee Hui-Won (39, 3rd degree handicapped) who "was not appointed as a head of Jecheon Community Health Center on Nov. 17 because he is a physically challenged even though he was the first candidate for the office."

Korean Confederation of Trade Union submitted its petition for the release of Chairperson Dan Byung-Ho, cosigned by 78,238 laborers from 61 countries, insisting that "the massive arrest of laborers including chairperson Dan violates human rights."

Radio Personnel Yang Ji-Woon (54) presented a petition on behalf of his son who was put into prison for the charge of mutiny. His son, who is a member of the Jehovah Witness, was arrested because he had refused to arm a gun in the military training camp. Catholic Human Rights Committee also submitted a petition to request for the re-investigation on the human rights violations in the process of the investigation and trial on so-called Inhyeokdang (People`s Revolution Party) case in 1975.

In addition, Rev. Kim Hae-Sung of `House of Foreign Laborers` submitted three petitions that "painting companies have discriminated white or dark foreign laborers by labeling `skin color` for a specific color." And Lesbian and Gay Human Right Federation also filed a petition to request for an investigation on the case of 2 homosexuals who were discriminated in the army and an aviation company.

Commissioner Kim Chang-Guk remarked, "the rush of petitions, while investigation team is not fully ready, reflects that there are many places where human rights are ignored in our society. The government must support the Commission to be an active organization that secures the human rights in Korea, not as an organization to propagandize the government."

Dong-Yong Min mindy@donga.com