PSPD English Newsletter, June 2016
- 2016.06.15 (11:25:36)
People Power! This month of the PSPD
Black gate of the Blue House and the Parents’ union, The Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea must inspect properly
PSPD is actively responding to a black gate of the Blue House, the National Intelligence Service, the Korea Employer’s Federation and the Parents’ Union. The Center for Administration Watch of the PSPD has requested an inspection for public interest on 24 May concerning a suspicion that Heo Hyun-jun, an administrative officer has abused his power to order the Parents’ union to assemble and demonstrate, and officers of the office of the President including a senior secretary for political affairs, former and current senior secretary for public relations have involved at the organizational level by giving instructions, aid and keeping silence. The Center has emphasized that it is necessary to investigate not only political affairs office but also Woo Byung-woo, a senior secretary for civil affairs considering the fact that ordering rallies have been accompanied by an offer of subsidies and Woo seems related with the Korean National Police Veterans Association which has supplied a fund to the Parents’ Union. People do not want to see the Board of Audit and Inspection gets shrunk in the face of the Blue House any more. The Board is urged to do their job properly this time.
Korean law on assembly and demonstration is even applied to punish holding a press conference
There are not many countries like Korea which infringe the right to assembly and expression, major rights secured in the constitution. Particularly, would there be any country which punishes holding a press conference? PSPD has persistently appealed to the Police for excessive restrictions on places of assembly and punishing a press conference for unreported assembly. On 16 May, PSPD has delivered a letter of appeal again to the Police Administration and stressed out two things. Article 11 of the Law on Assembly and Demonstration prohibiting an assembly within 100 meters from the front of National Assembly and a residence of Prime Minister is dangerous and unconstitutional which takes bones out the freedom to Assembly. Applying this article to holding a press conference is abusing the law. The freedom to Assembly, expression and the right to hold a press conference must be secured.
Zika virus after bacteria of Anthrax, scary US Armed Forces in Korea
Crimes of US solders residing in Korea such as Hyosoon and Misun case have occurred since long ago. Recently, more structural problems like experimenting bacteria of anthrax and zika virus have broken out. 122 Korean civil and social organizations including PSPD have delivered a letter of appeal to USAF commander on 13 May demanding to show transparently zika virus related activities and stop biological defense drills which threaten the safety of citizens. Furthermore, a conference was held to bring out problems of the Jupiter program of USAK and biological defense cooperation between Korea and US to the public and urge the 20th National Assembly to come up with settlements since a suspicion of exercising Jupiter program has been raised in Busan.
Hatred and violence against women should not be left alone
A woman was killed by a man at 1am on 17 May in a building toilet near Gangnam station. After the incident, the wall of Gangnam station was covered with chrysanthemum and notes conveying condolences for a victim and reporting a women discriminating society. In Korea, 90.2% victims of a felony are female (National Police Agency, 2013). 51% of homicide victims are female that tops among G20 (UNODC, 2008). In addition, gender gap index is 0.651 (0=inequality, 1=equality) ranking in 115 out of 145 countries (World Economic Forum, World Gender Gap report 2015). Our society must not disregard the discrimination.
The Youth PSPD declared that “We acknowledge hatred and violence against women as an urgent task. In cooperation with young people and citizens from various backgrounds, we will make the prevention system and fight against hatred, discrimination and violence in our society”. We hope the deceased rest in peace.
Constitutional Appeal and Collective Lawsuit for collecting communication data without notice
The power has been endlessly threatening the people and carrying out unlawful investigations. There are great anxiety and anger of the people against government organizations for collecting communication data containing important personal information without a permission or notice. Hence, the Public Interest Law Center of PSPD and human rights and civil organizations have submitted a constitutional appeal to the Constitutional Court on 18 May. They argue that clause 3, article 83 of the Telecommunications Business Act violate the right to self-determination for personal information by allowing collecting communication data as well as failing to give a notice. Furthermore, a collective lawsuit claiming damage compensation has been filed on 25 May against investigation authorities such as NIS, Seoul Police Administration and Suseo branch of the Police which abused power to indiscriminately collect communication data. Telecommunication service providers are also reported for provision without consent and negligence to notice a reason.
Boycotting Oxy, to be continued till win
While people are boycotting Oxy products, civil society and consumer organizations have decided to continue it until Oxy Korea sincerely regrets and apologizes. This humidifier sanitizer disaster is not only the responsibility of Oxy, Aekyung and large discount stores. Many people are urging sanitizer producers to take the responsibility for incurring the death of people, and at the same time, they are outcrying to find out if the state and the government have stood by a company side and neglected for their absolute duty and priority, protecting the people resulting death of the people. PSPD will keep boycotting Oxy, a ‘Killer company’, ask the responsibility of the government and do its best to make prevention measures.