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PSPD    People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

  • Civil-Political
  • 2008.06.30
  • 2515

Korean Police Needs to refrain from their irrational process of confiscation when executing search warrant in its probe into Anti-US beef protests

Police today raided the office of the People’s Conference Against Mad Cow Disease located at the building of People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy. Since established in 1994, PSPD has been dedicated to promoting Korean civic movements and participatory democracy through the extended guarantee of Constitutional rights. The police had claimed that the raid was to investigate the instigators of the ongoing anti-U.S. beef protests. However, the police’s behavior during the raid was shocking and despicable beyond our description.   

First of all, we strongly denounce irrational police action while executing a warrant. The search warrant was issued by the court. However, this does not guarantee that the police will abide by adequate legal procedures while they carry it out. When the police raided the PSPD building at dawn, there were several PSPD members waiting for them to cooperate for the smooth investigation. Nevertheless, detectives secretly shattered a security lock on the back door of the building and broke into the building without any warning. It is a police’s fundamental duty to show their warrant, inform the person present in the place to be searched of their intended purpose, and enter the place accordingly.     

Police, however, did not pay attention to these basic principles. Instead, they seized various documents and items arbitrarily, even including a memoir which chronicled citizens’ phone calls. Their irrational process of confiscation stopped only when lawyers made a strong complaint regarding their seizure. Furthermore, they videotaped the seminar room on the basement floor whose location is not included under the search warrant. They also demanded PSPD members to show their ID cards without explaining any legitimate reason. PSPD has no intention to impede the police investigation if they conduct reasonably while executing the warrant. However, today’s raid was unreasonable beyond our imagination, and in doing so, the police undermined its own authority.   

Today’s raid clearly demonstrated police’s intention to denigrate the People’s Conference Against Mad Cow Disease as an illicit organization and thereby arousing discord between citizens and the organization. Police charged that People’s Conference Against Mad Cow Disease engineered illegal and violent activities during recent demonstrations. But hard evidences that they had seized, such as a speaker, rally pickets, and MICs, had nothing to do with the alleged illegality.

Today’s raid would also put down the efforts of other civic organizations that have been participating in running peaceful demonstrations. 

Once again, PSPD express our grave concern over the raid of the office of the People’s Conference Against Mad Cow Disease located within PSPD building and call on the police to refrain from its irrational behavior and abide by decent principles as they move to execute the law.

June 30th, 2008

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