Monday, February 27, 2006

Visit to Minkhayup

Mus and Agnes made an arrangement for a meeting at Minkhayup Human Rights Group. It was Ms. Ji-yeon Han who received us at their office. She was the only person who could communicate in English. Their office is run by a four-woman team.

On the low table where we sat down with her was a Korean-English dictionary.
We asked her several questions and found out the services and activities that they are doing. Basically their main focus is doing work with political prisoners which they call prisoner of conscience, most of them are political and labor leaders, student activists, etc.

They also conduct advocacy against the National Security Law. They have student volunteers who occasionally help them in their work. Among the significant tasks the organization is doing for prisoners is publication of newsletter/magazine for them. They also do letter writing for prisoners.

We were told that in 1985 there were at least more than 1,000 prisoners. Today there are only more than 70 who are accused of violating the National Security Law. For last year there were only 3 new prisoners accused of the same crime. Mostly labor and student leaders.

The organization continue to conduct rallies every Thursday to protest on different issues like eviction, human rights, women rights, national security law, etc. The rallies are held in different locations such as Parliament, Universities, Court of Justice etc. Mostly mothers of previous prisoners continue to join the rallies. Students also give their support during their mobilizations.

We took several pictures of the campaign that Minkhayup have done in the past that are shown in this blog entry.

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