Sudden Arrest of Jeju Gangjeong Residents & Peace Activists
- 2011.07.21 (22:15:43)
- 첨부 1
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We strongly condemn the government’s crackdown on
and sudden arrest of Jeju Gangjeong residents
In order to enforce the Jeju naval base construction, the government and navy, the construction companies, and the Jeju police are using every means possible to suppress Gangjeong residents and the activists opposing the construction. Today, July 15, approximately 20 plain-clothed police officers raided the home of Gangjeong Village chief Kang Dong-gyun and arrested him. In addition, they also arrested Ko Gwon-il, chairman of the military base construction opposition committee, and peace activist Song Kang-ho. It is definitely a case of abuse by the governmental authorities, as they arrested those who were by no means considering escape. Thus, we strongly denounce this crackdown on the Gangjeong residents and activists, who have fought against the construction for over four years, which just shows that the police authorities are a faithful puppet of the government and the navy. Furthermore, we strongly call upon the government to release them.
This is not the only case of oppression of the residents and activists by the government with the purpose of enforcing the Jeju naval base construction, as they are now confronting the spread of public opinion against the construction project. Filing diverse lawsuits against the residents and activists, the navy has recently lodged a compensation claim of 290 million won against fourteen residents. They have also submitted an application requesting termination of the interference of 77 activists and residents, including the village chief Kang Dong-gyun. The prime minister’s office urged the local Seogwipo-si government to blockade the entrance of the Joongduk coast farm road, which was the center of the resistance against the base construction. It is also said that soon Korea Electric Power will stop supplying electricity to the facilities in the Joongduk coast.
Surely this overall suppression by the government and the navy is nothing but an expression of their anxiety about the growing opposition to the Jeju naval base construction and their intention to enforce the construction in spite of the opposition. They have disregarded a sincere appeal made by civil society to reexamine the Jeju naval base construction, a demand from the opposition parties to suspend the construction until a solution to settle the dispute over the construction is found, and the voice of the investigation committee to suspend the construction while they investigate the flaws in the construction procedure. Kim Kwan-jin, Minister of the National Defense, has not kept his word to discuss the possibility of suspending the construction while the investigation committee conducts the investigation.
We, however, warn with certainty that the government and the navy will have to face stronger protests should they enforce the base construction, disregarding the public opposition and the voices calling for explanation about the validity and legitimacy of the Jeju naval base construction. There are many residents who have been fighting against the construction, putting up with numerous obstacles and sacrificing themselves, and there are many citizens supporting them. The base construction must be stopped before other adverse accidents occur. It is never too late. The government and the naval authorities, even now, must give up their obstinacy and stop the crackdown on the residents. Their actions to suppress the residents are totally unacceptable, destroying the environment gifted from heaven, and threatening our right to lead a peaceful life in the Korean peninsula.
In addition, we would like to inform that, in order to protest the crackdown by the navy and to show our opposition to the naval base construction, we will be standing again in front of Daehan-Mun at six o’clock on July 16.
2011. 7. 15
National Network of Korean Civil Society for Opposing to the Naval Base in Jeju Island