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News :: Globalization : Human Rights : International : Labor : Organizing : Politics
Sign the Petition to Abolish the National Security Law!
17 Dec 2004
[I]n a few days, the South Korean government will be considering the repeal of the hated National Security Law - an instrument of oppression used against the democracy, peace, labor, and human rights movements in Korea since
1948.

The solidarity statement ... will be sent to the coalition leading this effort - "People's Solidarity for NSL Abolition" - as well as their allies in South Korean National Assembly and President Roh Moo-hyun. Please endorse this statement - with your name, affiliation, and location – and send it back to us at abolish_NSL (at) yahoo.com.

We hope this statement will be the start of a larger international solidarity campaign tied into next year's commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of Korean Liberation/Division and the 25th Anniversary of the Kwangju Peoples Uprising....
*** PLEASE FORWARD ****

Dear friends,

We are entering a critical period in Korean history - in a few days, the South Korean government will be considering the repeal of the hated National Security Law - an instrument of oppression used against the democracy, peace, labor, and human rights movements in Korea since
1948.

The solidarity statement below will be sent to the coalition leading this effort - "People's Solidarity for NSL Abolition" - as well as their allies in South Korean National Assembly and President Roh Moo-hyun. Please endorse this statement - with your name, affiliation, and location – and send it back to us at abolish_NSL (at) yahoo.com.

We hope this statement will be the start of a larger international solidarity campaign tied into next year's commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of Korean Liberation/Division and the 25th Anniversary of the Kwangju Peoples Uprising. Your support is much appreciated. Thank you.

---------------------------------
Worldwide Statement of Solidarity

ABOLISH THE NATIONAL SECURITY LAW!

Promote Democracy, Peace, and Human Rights in Korea!

We, the undersigned, urge the government of South Korea to immediately abolish the National Security Law (NSL). We submit this statement in solidarity with the millions of Koreans who have been waging a determined campaign to eliminate this draconian tool of authoritarian control. For far too long, the NSL has been a barrier to peaceful unification and resulted in an authoritarian culture of fear and suspicion - dividing families and marginalizing communities. Already, the right-wing is red-baiting civic leaders and public officials who support the repeal. We can no longer stand by and allow the NSL to be used to silence people whose only crime has been to exercise their basic rights to freedom of expression and association.

From its very inception, the NSL has been a political weapon used by those in authority to consolidate their power and suppress dissent. Modeled on the "Security Law" (Chi-an Yuji Beob) implemented during Japanese colonization of Korea, the NSL was first promulgated in December 1948 by the U.S.-supported Syngman Rhee regime - less than four months after the founding of the Republic of Korea. Since then, hundreds of thousands of workers, students, community activists, and government opponents have been targeted for surveillance, censorship, blacklisting, arbitrarily detention, torture, and even execution for non-violent activities. "Articles 3 and 7 provide for long sentences or the death penalty for 'enemy-benefiting' (enemy refers to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or North Korea), 'anti state' and 'espionage' activities, in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which South Korea is a state party," according to Amnesty International, which supports the repeal of the NSL (http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGASA250092004). Most South Koreans no longer view North Korea as the "enemy" and a law based on this premise severely undermines reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula.

Weekly candlelight vigils are taking place in South Korea cities and over 600 people are currently engaged in an indefinite hunger strike - part of a nationwide campaign organized by "People's Solidarity for NSL Abolition" (Ku-ka-bo-ahn-bop Pae-ji Kook-min Yun-dae) - a coalition of over 300 civic organizations and popular movements including the National Alliance for Democracy & Reunification of Korea, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, the Korean Peasants League, People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, and the Korea Truth Commission.

Even the South Korean government’s own Human Rights Commission has recommended the repeal of the NSL (http://www.humanrights.go.kr/eng/nhrc/news/nhrc02_01_view.jsp?seqid=218).

South Korea has the shameful record of having had the longest serving political prisoners in the world, including Kim Sun Myoung, who was imprisoned for 44 years in solitary confinement. It is now time for people of conscience to rise up and add our voices to the movement to end the NSL. Repeal of the NSL is the first step toward greater democracy, economic and social justice, and unification of Korea. Abolish the NSL now!

In solidarity,

Abolish NSL Network

Contact: Yoomi Jeong, Korea Truth Commission
<koreatruthcommission (at) yahoo.com>
John Choe, New York City <abolish_NSL (at) yahoo.com>
---------

Please endorse this statement - with your name, affiliation, and location - and send it to abolish_NSL (at) yahoo.com. The solidarity statement will be sent to the coalition leading this effort - "People's Solidarity for NSL Abolition" - as well as their allies in the South Korean National Assembly and President Roh Moo-hyun. Please forward widely! Thank you.
See also:
http://www.iacenter.org/
http://www.iacenter.org/korea_top.htm

This work is in the public domain
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