30 January 2012
South Korean immigration authority rejected the entry of AWC international secretariat and co-representative of AWC-Japan into South Korea and deported them to Japan. They have planed to attend the 15th Campaign Coordinating Body (CCB) meeting held in Seoul, South Korea on 28-29 January 2012. We, AWC-Japan, strongly condemn the deportation by South Korean immigration and the ‘entry-ban-order’ against them by the Department of Justice of ROK under Lee Myong-bak administration.
South Korean Justice Department continue to ban the entry of other 2 activists of AWC-Japan into South Korea since last August 2011. On this time, we recognized that South Korean government have issued the ‘entry-ban-order’ against at least 4 members in AWC-Japan.
We believe that deportation of AWC international secretariat and co-representative of AWC-Japan, that followed the case on the end of last August 2011, is part of repression against anti-naval base struggle in Jeju Island, South Korea. Those 2 delegates have joined AWC-Japan’s ‘peace tour to Jeju’ showing their solidarity for anti-naval base struggle there on last August 2011. On the other hand, other delegates from AWC-Japan who have no experience of visiting to Jeju could enter to South Korea safely. An immigration staffs said to AWC international secretariat, ‘you are prohibited to enter South Korea because you oppose the policy of South Korean government’. However, it is unforgiving act that the government issued the ‘entry-ban-order’ arbitrary in order to accomplish its wrong policy. Such government’s act itself is illegal.
We condemn the political repression of Lee Myong-bak administration against us. At the same time, we also condemn the behavior of immigration officials in airport and airport police. There is similarity on the cases that we faced: 1) no explanation of the reason of rejection of the entry; 2) denying the rights of objection; 3) lying and threat in order to deport; 4) deportation by violent measures. These violate human rights association obviously.
In addition, South Korean embassy in Philippine obstructed the visit of representative of BAYAN-Philippine to South Korea. The embassy officials have delayed the issue of visa by demanding of him to submit many additional documents. He could not attend the AWC-CCB meeting because of such embassy’s harassment.
AWC-Japan, with AWC Korea Committee, had implemented the signature campaign to demand the lifting of the entry-ban-order of our members that issued on last August 2011. We also brought the case to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea with 394 signatory of social activists both in South Korea and Japan on 18 January 2012 already. In face of escalated repression, we shall organize bigger protest both in South Korea and Japan to demand the lifting of the ‘entry-ban-order’ against our fellow members by South Korean government. We also demand of Japanese government to work for lifting it as its responsibility.
Regardless of repression by South Korean government, the 15th AWC-CCB meeting held successfully. The voice of condemnation against political repression and human rights violation against South Korean government spread internationally. On the AWC-CCB meeting issued the international joint statement to Condemn immigration’s repression against members in AWC by the governments in Asia, including the government of South Korea.
Denouncing the ‘entry-ban-order’ against our fellow members that South Korean government issued, we shall fight for making South Korean government lift such unjust order thoroughly. We shall be never defeated any repression.
Lastly, we express our determination of our further commitment of advancing solidarity among struggling people in the Asia-Pacific region, and toward the development of our struggle against war, U.S. base and neoliberal policies under the line of anti-imperialism. ###