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Human Rights Committee Fights Back against Chung Wa Dae

Posted November. 18, 2002 22:48,   


As the Presidential office of Chung Wa Dae sent an official warning to four members of the Human Rights Committee for their unauthorized business trip to foreign countries, the committee is squarely refuting Chung Wa Dae`s warning.

The Human Rights Committee said that according to the Article 3 of the Human Rights Committee act, the Human Rights Committee is an independent body, no belonging to the administration, thus there is no need for its members to be subject to the relevant ruled set by Chung Wa Dae. The committee added that against this backdrop, it was not right for the committee chairman to get prior approval from the President before he went on a overseas business trip.

The committee also said that before he went on a business trip, the chairman had been noticed that he did not have to get approval from the President for his business trip. The committee expressed its regret that Chung Wa Dae sent the warning although its chairman made a full explanation to Chung Wa Dae after he returned from his trip.

Earlier, Park Sun-sook, presidential spokesperson announced on Nov. 15 that all ministerial level officials going on a business trip to overseas should be subject to the relevant rule. She also said Chung Wa Dae sent a stern warning to the chairman of the Human Rights Committee since he violated the rule.

The chairman of the committee participated in The Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF), which was held in New Delhi, India from Nov. 9 to Nov.14, and discussed ways for Korea to become a member of the APF.

In response, a Chung Wa Dae official said yesterday that the Human Rights Committee was under control of the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs and the committee is regarded as same as other administrative bodies in terms of personnel, budget and organization. He also said that since the committee chairman was on the same level as other ministers and its staff members were public officials, the committee could not be free from the control of the government. He added that Chung Wa Dae persuaded him to refrain from attending the meeting many times in advance, but he ignored it and attended the meeting without approval.

Hyo-Lim Son aryssong@donga.com