Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2004 - South Korea

Forced deportation and prosecution of two trade unionists97

During a demonstration on 26 October 2003, the South Korean police arrested two Bangladeshi activists, Mr. Khademul Islam Bidduth, a leader of the Equality Trade Union – Migrants' Branch (ETU-MB), and Mr. Jamal Ali, an active participant in the migrant movement. They were protesting against the brutal crackdown against undocumented migrant workers launched by the South Korean government on 24 October 2003.

On 30 December 2003, the South Korean authorities forcibly deported Messrs. Khademul Islam Bidduth and Jamal Ali to Bangladesh where they remained in detention until 4 January 2004, when they were released on bail.

It was reported that members and supporters of ETU-MB, the only migrant workers' trade union in South Korea, were regularly physically attacked by riot police and immigration authorities during demonstrations. Between October 2003 and January 2004, around 27,000 migrant workers were allegedly deported or left the country.

As of December 2004, the South Korean government continued to impose repressive measures against undocumented migrant workers as well as against members and supporters of ETU-MB, whose leaders were still being deported or facing prosecution.

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

97. See Urgent Appeal BGD 001/0104/OBS 003.


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