PSPD English Newsletter, January 2016
- 2016.01.01 (16:41:56)
PSPD Newsletter, January 2016
Happy Participation, Heartwarming Solidarity_ This Month of the PSPD
● Some parts of the Military Justice System have improved
▶ The National Assembly passed the <Revision of Military Court Act> on 9 December. The revision partially abolishes a ‘system of Judges’ which allows a regular officer not a military Judge to preside a military trial for solders who commit a crime. It also limits the extent of ‘Authority of Jurisdictional Officer to confirm sentence’ which gives a power to commanders such as a division commander to arbitrary lower down a sentence made by a military court. This is a fruitful outcome drawn by great concerns of the society after a private Yoon was beaten to death in 2014 that there were demands for legislation to protect human rights of armed forces and correct military justice system controlled and manipulated by intentions of commanders.
The Ministry of Defense has interfered external inspections, fair investigations and trials under the excuse of unique characteristic of the military. When Noh Moo-hyun government tried to reform the Judicial System, it could not improve the Military Justice System.
It is not satisfactory for a certain level but still a good result of one-year effort for public interest legislation since PSPD has urged a complete abolition of ‘system of Judges’ and ‘Authority of Jurisdictional Officer to confirm sentence’’ and lobbied to the national Assembly. PSPD will advance one step more.
‘Fact Book Ⅱ’, records of corrupted powers
▶ The ‘Fact BookⅡ, records of corrupted powers – Power watch by PSPD’ is published on 4 December. The first Fact Book released on 12 June was about <2009~2013 political actions of the National Intelligence Service and Military Cyber Command, and their interference in the 18th Presidential Election>. About 60 paged second Fact Book contains records of <2008-2012 illegal investigation on civilians by unofficial close aids of Lee Myung-bak president and the office of the Prime Minister>.
Unlawful acts were revealed to the public when the press and a lawmaker exposed illegal inspection over Kim Jong-ik, a president of KB Hanmaeum in 2010. Some were proved by conscious confession of Jang Jinsu in 2012 who was involved in erasing evidences. However, seethed press is now quiet and related criminal trials are all completed two years ago. Despite the case is getting forgotten as time goes, PSPD is publishing factbooks of power watch to remind and remember power abuse and unlawful moves of the authorities.
[Terror Prevention Act related issue analysis] submitted to the National Assembly
▶ PSPD has delivered issue analysis concerning [Terror Prevention Act] and [Cyber Terror Prevention Act] not only to the Information Committee but also every lawmakers of the 19th National Assembly on 1 December. Since Paris terror in November, the government and the leading party have tried hard to pass terror prevention bills and the President Park Geun-hye even stressed out that these bills were essential to prevent a terror attack of IS. However, we already have enough laws to prevent terrors and the National Intelligence Service is hiding behind the excuse of terror prevention which in fact, intends to enhance the right to collect information and control government organizations. Therefore, PSPD writes articles, holds press conference and visits lawmakers of the Information Committee in order to stop legislation which would give more authorities to the NIS.
Picketing for the Reform of Election System in front of the talk between Kim Mu-sung and Moon Jae-in
▶ PSPD and lawmakers of the Justice Party picketed “Secure proportional seat allocation by party votes earned! Stop reduction of proportional representations!” outside of a restaurant where Kim Moo-sung, a chairperson of Saenuri Party and Moon Jae-in, a chairperson of NPAD met on 12 December to determine constituency for a general election next year. The Saenuri Party is denying important facts and realities. Ten millions votes, almost a half of total votes become dead. There is a significant discrepancy between supporting rate for each party and actual seat occupancy. Currently, the majority of the National Assembly is regional representations but on the contrary, social representations such as farmers, fishermen, the young, small business, the handicapped, minority and migrants are very small. Nevertheless, the Saenuri Party tries to increase regional seats and reduce proportional representations driving the National Assembly far away from the people. In order to improve livelihood matters, it is necessary to adopt seat allocations and proportional representations according to votes earned by party.
2015 Whistle Blower’s Night for Public Interests and the Righteous Citizen Award
▶ <PSPD 2015 Whistle Blower’s Night for Public Interests and the Righteous Citizen Award> was held on 18 December. It was the 6th event since it started in 2010. PSPD has invited whistle blowers of previous awards to remember their sacrifices and courage, and conveyed gratitude and appreciation. PSPD has selected four whistle blowers for righteous man of the year and presented a plague and a prize with gratitude.
Activities to stop evil bills of Park Geun-hye continues after MB’s
▶ In November 2008, the early 18th National Assembly, PSPD had selected 22 MB evil bills and tied up with activities to stop their enactments during the Lee Myung-bak administration. Having the end of 19th National Assembly, PSPD is struggling to block legislations of Park Geun-hye’s bad bills including Terror Prevention Act, Cyber Terror Prevention Act, Service Industry Development Standard Act to prepare a base to reduce public services and increase privatizations, Special Act to raise vitality of corporates (so called, one-shot Act) which will give bounteous benefits to Chabeols and large conglomerates and five labor related revisions such as easy dismissal, extension of irregular employment terms, reduction of unemployment allowance and expansion of indirect employment and dispatch.
PSPD has talked to lawmakers to lobby to stop them and denounced the president and the leading party which have oppressed for legislation. On 9 December, PSPD held a press conference in front of the Saenuri Party Office to criticize them for forcible process, and presented a statement to the President ‘Denouncing the President for oppressing legislations of evil bills’ in front of the Cheongwadae on the 17th.
“Listen to the Voice of the people”, joined in the national rally on 5 December
▶ After the national rally on 14 November, the government’s attempt to suppress the right and the freedom to assembly has run to an extreme. It said to enact mask wearing prohibition law and even did not allow the 2nd national rally on 5 December at the Seoul Square. The Civil Society Organizations Network in Korea of which PSPD is a member reported a separate rally to show that a venue to speak out to the government has to be secured but the authority undoubtedly did not permit. Fortunately, holding the 2nd national rally became possible since the court said to secure the rally hosted by the Committee for Baek Nam-ki to get well soon which initially prohibited by the police.
PSPD activists and members joined in the rally and the march from Seoul Square to Daehak-ro liberally and peacefully denouncing the government. They marched with a large picket saying ‘Listen to the Voice of the People’.