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Reporters Without Borders rebuts Song’s remarks as irrelevant

Reporters Without Borders rebuts Song’s remarks as irrelevant

Posted August. 27, 2021 07:29,   

Updated August. 27, 2021 07:29


In a response to South Korean ruling party leader Song Young-il’s dismissive remarks about a Reporters Without Borders (RSF) statement on the proposed revision to the Act on Press Arbitration and Remedies, RSF rebutted the comment by the head of the Korean ruling party, calling it “totally irrelevant”.

“RSF is an organization closely studying all countries and regions it covers. We’ve established a global network of reporters, and we are getting updates about the level of freedom of press in each country with additional partners providing us with all the other necessary information,” Cedric Alviani, head of the East Asia Bureau of RSF, said in a video interview with The Dong-A Ilbo on Wednesday. He mentioned that the Journalists Association of Korea is also on the same page with RSF, adding he won’t accept any claim that RSF does not know about Korea well enough. It is a response to ruling party leader Song Young-gil’s remarks that “RSF doesn’t know a thing” about the circumstances in South Korea.

“RSF is a global NGO independent from the government of any country in the world,” said Alviani, “Our mission is to intervene wherever the freedom of press is threatened. Alviani said South Korea is one of the leading democracies in the world, expressing his concern that once passed, the law might set the wrong precedent for other countries. “Our role is to point out the potential defect or loophole of any new regulation regardless of which country is adopting it,” he added.

“I will provide a good explanation. It will be written in English and delivered directly to them (RSF),” Rep. Song said in a meeting with journalists at the National Assembly on Thursday. “A lawmaker is unseated if he or she is found guilty of disseminating false information and slapped with fines over 1 million won, but journalists are exempt from delicensing even if they spread fake news,” Rep. Song said in an interview with MBC News on the same day.

Ji-Hyun Kim jhk85@donga.com