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Wanted by the police since December 2006

Democratic rights in Korea under threat - protest repressive arrests

On Tuesday, October 9, 2007, 6:40 PM, two officers of the Korean Alliance against the Korea-U.S. FTA, Mr. Seok-woon PARK (Executive Committee Chair) and Mr. Je-jun JU (General Secretary), were arrested. Wanted by the police since December 2006, they were visiting regional organizations to strengthen the anti-FTA movement when their arrests were made. Mr. Park and Mr. Ju are currently detained and being
questioned at a police station in Seoul; in a few days, they will be relocated to another jail where they will await trial.

They were arrested on two charges. First is organizing actions, in November and December 2005, against the government and police after two farmers (Yong-chul CHUN and Duk-pyo HONG) were killed by police violence during the struggle against opening Korea's rice market.

The second is organizing rallies and demonstrations against the free trade agreement between Korea and the U.S. in November 2006. The arrests of Mr. Park and Mr. Ju, which come after the arrests of two Co-Chairs of the Korean Alliance in July, show the Korean government's on-going suppression of people's movement. We, the Korean Alliance, thus feel that their arrests are a direct violation of democratic and constitutional right to assemble and express our opinion.

Since its formation in March 2006, the Korean Alliance has organized peaceful and legal demonstrations against what we think is a seriously unjust agreement for the people of Korea, the U.S., and the world. However, since November 2006, the Roh Moo-hyun Administration has declared all Korean Alliance's public rallies illegal. Police suppression has been severe on all activities of the Korean Alliance.

Korean Confederation of Trade Unions(KCTU) is also a part of Korean Alliance against KORUS FTA. We believe that the Roh Moo-hyun Administration has gravely violated fundamental rights of the people to assemble and oppose any unjust government practices.