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Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2002 - South Korea

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 26 March 2003
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2002 - South Korea, 26 March 2003, available at: [accessed 27 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Sentence of a trade union leader34

On 18th March 2002, Mr Dan Byung-ho, Chairman of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), was sentenced in Seoul to two years in prison for coordinating the general strike of 21st June 2001. He was found guilty of the five counts against him and in 15 of the 16 cases laid by the prosecuting counsel. He was convicted for "conspiracy and interference in private economic affairs" (Article 314 of the Criminal Code, used on a regular basis by the Korean government to declare strikes illegal), "obstruction to security forces" and "breach of the law on industrial relations". Mr Byung-ho had already been jailed in the past for his action for workers' rights and had been released in August 1999 following a presidential amnesty. In August 2001, as part of an agreement between the Korean government and the KCTU, he had accepted to go back to jail to serve the remainder of his sentence, which was two months and four days. But on 28th September 2001, a few days before his planned release on 3 October 2001, the Korean authorities issued a second arrest warrant in order to keep him in custody and complete their investigation.

[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website ( was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

34. See Urgent Appeal KOR 001/0302/OBS 022 and Annual Report 2001.

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