Aller au contenu

Korean Struggle Mission – Report of Activities

  • OMC

Condemnation of Human Rights Abuse by Hong Kong Police and Call for Release of All Those Imprisoned.

1. The ‘Korean Struggle Mission against Hong Kong WTO Ministerial (hereunder Korean Struggle Mission)’ had protested for the last eight days calling for ‘no to neoliberal globalization’ and ‘no to WTO and stop to the Doha negotiations’, ‘the spirit of martyrs’, together with peoples from all around the world who had gathered here in Hong Kong. Our determined but peaceful struggles including swimming to the convention center, the sam-bo-il-bae ( ‘three steps one bow’), and candlelight vigils have received support and encouragement from the Hong Kong people. The struggles of the Korean Struggle Mission were those aimed at breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and inequality, war and violence brought by neoliberal globalization, aimed at protecting the rights and lives of people all around the world. The Doha negotiations, which falsely contend that the WTO extends benefits of free trade, are still under difficulties due to resistance from developing and least developed countries, and the Ministerial came to a close without any meaningful development. As such, while the WTO in itself manifests its own contradictions, the anger of people around the world is all the more getting bigger, and the solidarity and unity of people against the WTO is becoming stronger.

2. The over-repression by the WTO and the Hong Kong authorities on our struggles to protect the lives and rights of the people around the world has triggered anger among those here, Hong Kong citizens and all those around the world. Even before the Peoples Action Week started, Hong Kong media were busy demonizing Korean workers and peasants. The area around the convention center was designated as a non-protest zone and the authorities abused the people’s inherent right to voice out their opinion by allowing demonstrations only in places with little presence by Hong Kong citizens. The Hong Kong police had violently repressed demonstrations with pepper stray, tear gas, electric clubs, rubber bullets and water canons, and on 17th December – the eve of the end of the Ministerial – around 900 protestors were arrested. Total of 14, of which 11 were from the Korean Struggle Mission, have now been charged. We condemn the Hong Kong authorities and police, who have violently blocked our just struggles aimed at the WTO not the Hong Kong government nor police, our struggles aimed at protecting the rights and lives of the people.

3. Furthermore, during the arrest that took 12 hours from dawn till afternoon on 18th December, and also during detention in various police stations, the Hong Kong police treated the detainees as criminals and seriously abused their human rights. Although there was no resistance during the rounding up by police, protestors were forced to be cuffed with cable ties and were slapped on the face or beaten if they refused to be cuffed. The police failed to inform the detainees of their basic rights such as phone calls, food or medical treatment, or when the requests were made, the police responded negatively. We will continue to investigate and publicize all cases of human rights abuse, which are enough for the Hong Kong authorities to earn criticisms internationally, and will strongly respond to these cases. Furthermore, we demand the immediate release of the 14 people including the 11 Koreans who have been charged and continue to be detained. We warn that the Hong Kong authorities will be challenged by strong resistance globally.

4. We also confirm that the responsibility for worsening the situation after the over-repression by the Hong Kong police, human rights abuse and other mishaps during the Peoples Action Week lies with the Korean government. The Korean government failed to take any action and remained negligent when the 1,000 Koreans were being arrested, ignored all the human rights abuse inside the cells as ‘specifically Hong Kong circumstances’, and led the 11 Koreans to be charged and indicted by refusing to guarantee their identity even though there was no possibility of them running away. We strongly condemn this negligent attitude of the Korean government.

5. The closing of the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial without notable development and the violent repression and human rights abuse against the Korean Struggle Mission and all those who are resisting neoliberal globalization manifest the contradictions and violence of the neoliberal regime. It stimulates further anguish on the part of the people around the world. Through the struggles in Hong Kong, our struggles and the struggles of all the people around the world against neoliberal globalization and the poverty and violence it brings, will become all the more stronger.

20th December, 2005

Korean Struggle Mission against Hong Kong WTO Ministerial