South Korea: The Movement to RELEASE All Prisoners of Conscience!


Ahn Jin-geol, the Secretary General of People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, participated in the “Companion”, the walking march for the release of all prisoners of conscience in Korea. He said he had a heavy heart and was sick at heart when he saw Lee Kyung-jin, a sister of Lee Seok-ki who is holding a sit-down in front of the Blue House. Moreover, he said that many civil society organizations in Korea had thought they should have gathered more strength to let all prisoners of conscience free.

Celebrating Christmas, Ahn said

“On this day, justice and peace must flow over the country we love. Everyone who is unjustly detained in prison should come out and laugh with their family, friends and acquaintances. But now there are still some immoral forces. Also, I couldn’t keep my stuffiness hidden because the current government could not make a decision reading their countenance.”

Despite freezing weather, Lee Seokki’s sister Lee Kyungjin holds the 16th all night demonstration in front of the Blue House on December 27.

Quoting Martin Luther King Jr, Ahn said

“Just as the famous saying that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, if Han Sang-gyun and Lee Seok-ki are in prison, the justice of the Republic of Korea is still far away.”

Finally, Ahn asserted that if many NGOs and activists face problems they think differently, they criticize or they think they should discuss, all the problems should be discussed between stakeholders. So he said the government can not label them as dangerous things.

Many civil society groups are giving voice of solidarity. Although the special pardon on Christmas had not progressed, we pray that unjustly imprisoned people will be released before the end of this year.

As for the new government’s various activities in order to liquidate the deep-rooted evils across the society, Archbishop Kim Hee-jung of Archdiocese of Gwangju said,

“the fruit of cleaning up old evils is not only punishing people but rearranging laws and system.”

Archbishop Kim Hee-jung said

“The contents of liquidation are not outrageous. In the meantime, we have suffered and seen the outflow of national wealth, and the young in Korea are calling the nation ‘Hell’. We should rearrange the order of the society.”

Furthermore he said,

“Recently, religious groups are carrying on campaign for the release of prisoners of conscience including Lee Seok-ki and Han Sang-gyun. They said the constitutional freedom in our country and they talked about their opinion not military uprising. Especially, the Court and authority didn’t give enough information to the people. It is a matter of killing and saving a person, so I opposed the dissolution of the Unified Progressive Party in order to keep the Constitutional values.”

Celebrating Christmas, Archbishop Kim Hee-jung held a press conference on December 21.

Many leader of religious groups are calling for the release of all prisoners of conscience. Now it’s time for the government to make a decision.

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