AWC protests South Korean repression against Japanese activists

By the AWC International Secretariat

Before the holding of 15th Campaign Coordinated Body meeting of Asia-Wide Campaign against US-Japanese domination and aggression of Asia, AWC Korea Committee held press conference to denounce the immigration repression against members of AWC-Japan in front of National Human Rights Commission of Korea.

The following is an English translation of an article in Cham Sesang or the Voice of the People, an Internet media in people’s movement in South Korea. The article is written in Korean but you can find some photos in the URL.

On the morning of January 18, 2012, a press conference to demand the lifting of the banning of entry against Japanese peace activists who had rejected the entry to South Korea was held in front of National Human Rights Commission of Korea.

Immigration authority at Jeju airport rejected the entry of 2 Japanese peace activists, Yukiko Nagaya and Hidefumi Sakoda on last August 26, 2011, when they planed to join international peace forum there.

At the time, the immigration authority at Jeju airport did not explain any reason of their rejection and neglected their objection. They even intend to force them to sign the order of deportation, saying it is the document for their objection to the Department of Justice. Hidefumi Sakoda forced to leave there within the day because he accompanied his young child and Yukiko Nagaya was deported on August 26 after 3 days detention in the airport.

In the press conference, AWC Korea Committee, Korean Confederation of Trade Union (KCTU), and Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea (SPARK) denounced the government’s unjust measure against international peace activists.

According to Ho Youg-Qu, representative of AWC Korea Committee, Hidefumi Sakoda has another experience of deportation on August 2010, before G20 summit meeting was held in Seoul on November 2010. He could enter South Korea on May 2005 but the immigration rejected his entry and his visit to Gangjeoung village, the site of ongoing construction of naval base in Jeju, on Last August 2011 again. This is government’s repression against international activists, he said.

‘The banning of entry without any reason violate international laws and principal of exchange between ROK and Japan. The obstruction against international exchange among peace activists has repressed their human rights clearly, he added.

They had also conducted joint signature campaign to denounce South Korean government, the department of Justice and the Bureau of Immigration of ROK and to demand the lifting of their banning of entry against those Japanese peace activists since last November 2011 in South Korea and Japan. Total 394 social activists (268 in Japan and 126 in South Korea) signed the joint statement.

After the press conference, they brought the case to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea

AWC International Secretariat

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