Support the campaign!
• Demonstrate in front of a South Korean Embassy during PyeongChang 2018 (9-25 Feb)
• Send letters to President Moon calling for the release of Han Sang Gyun
• Share of photo calling for Han’s release with #FreeHanSangGyun in social media
The BWI is demanding the new South Korean President Moon Jae-In to immediately release Han Sang Gyun, former President of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU).
Han was imprisoned on 10 December 2015 (International Human Rights Day) for organising mass demonstrations against regressive labour reforms that would have cut workers’ wages and conditions. These demonstrations played a key role in toppling the anti-worker Park Geun-hye Government.
President Moon Jae-in has clearly listened to the people that put him there; evident by his pledge to restrict the use of irregular work and increase the minimum wage by 16%.
Human rights organisations across the world have condemned Han’s imprisonment. Recently, the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association has requested the South Korean Government “take any measures in its power for the release of Mr. Han and all other trade unionists”. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention labelled it arbitrary because it resulted from the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, calling for his immediate release and compensation.
Presidents Moon and Han have a lot in common. Both have spent their lives striving to protect human rights. Now it is time for President Moon to put his commitment into action, by granting a special pardon and immediately releasing Han, so he can continue his work defending workers’ rights across South Korea.
Make your voice heard by adding your name to the below Action Alert to call for the immediate release of Han Sang Gyun.
Dear President Moon Jae-In,
We are writing to you to demand the immediate release of former KCTU President Han Sang-Gyun as well as other jailed trade unionists.
President Han has now been imprisoned for over two years simply for exercising his democratic right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly.
In exercising these rights, Han was calling attention to proposed polices that would have made work less secure and wages lower for millions of South Korean workers, policies that your Government has been very ken to distance itself from.
While we applaud your move to raise the minimum wage and restrict informal work, we remain concerned at the use of arbitrary politically-motivated attacks on the liberty of trade unionists to do their job. The recent incarceration of Lee underscores this concern.
As the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has noted, President’s Han’s deprivation of liberty is arbitrary because it results from the exercise of these rights. They have called for his immediate release and compensation. The ILO Committee on Freedom of Association has also called for the South Korean Government to “take any measures in its power for the release of Mr. Han”.
Mr. President, we know that you have expressed a deep commitment to human and labour rights. There is no morally defensible justification for Han's ongoing incarceration.
We therefore ask you to take action now and use your authority to immediately pardon and release Han and other trade unionists, so they can continue their work defending workers’ rights across South Korea.