At FORUM-ASIA, we employ a range of strategies to effectively achieve our goals and create a lasting impact.

Through a diverse array of approaches, FORUM-ASIA is dedicated to achieving our objectives and leaving a lasting imprint on human rights advocacy.

Who we work with

Our interventions are meticulously crafted and ready to enact tangible change, addressing pressing issues and empowering communities.

Each statements, letters, and publications are meticulously tailored, poised to transform challenges into opportunities, and to empower communities towards sustainable progress.

Multimedia Stories

With a firm commitment to turning ideas into action, FORUM-ASIA strives to create lasting change that leaves a positive legacy for future generations.

Explore our dedicated sub-sites to witness firsthand how FORUM-ASIA turns ideas into action, striving to create a legacy of lasting positive change for future generations.

Subscribe our monthly e-newsletter

Release South Korean Hostages in Afghanistan Immediately and Unconditionally!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

A joint statement released by FORUM-ASIA and its member organisations in South Korea, People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) and Korean House for International Solidarity (KHIS), demands that the Taliban free all 21 remaining hostages unconditionally and immediately and well as urges the governments of the US and Afghanistan to engage in resolving conflict through practical solutions.

Joint Press Statement

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and its member organisations in South Korea, People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) and the Korean House for International Solidarity (KHIS) demand that the Taliban free all 21 remaining hostages unconditionally and immediately.

On 19 July 2007, the Islamic Taliban movement seized 23 South Korean Christian aid workers on a bus in Ghazni province, in the eastern part of Afghanistan. They were on the way to Kandahar to do voluntary service at a clinic. The Taliban offered to trade the South Korean hostages for imprisoned Taliban fighters. Two of the hostages have already been executed by the Taliban. The first one to be executed was the group’s leader, Pastor Bae Hyung-kyu. He was killed on 25 July 2007. The second hostage executed was Mr. Shim Sung-min. He was killed on 31 July 2007. At present, there are 18 female and 3 male hostages who remain under captivity.

To date, too many innocent lives have been lost in Afghanistan since the invasion led by the US-led coalition, too much pain imposed on the family members of those who have lost loved ones. Past Bae and Mr Shim should be the last victims in Afghanistan. Now is time to put an end to this senseless suffering. All lives are precious and should be respected regardless of nationality—Afghani, German or Korean — profession, religion or belief.

FORUM-ASIA implores the Taliban to release the remaining hostages, in particular those whose health is in critical condition. No purpose is served by keeping them under hostage.

FORUM-ASIA also strongly urges the governments of the United States and Afghanistan to find the most practical solution at the soonest possible time to spare the lives of these hostages. A military solution to the hostage situation will only endanger innocent lives and aggravate the already violent conditions in the country. The government of South Korea must withdraw its troops from Afghanistan without delay.

Finally, FORUM-ASIA conveys our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of Pastor Bae Hyung-Kyu and Mr. Shim Sung Min and expresses solidarity with the families of the remaining hostages in hoping for their safe and speedy release.

In solidarity and peace,

Anselmo Lee
Executive Director

Lim Jong-dae
PSPD, South Korea

Byun Yun-shik
KHIS, South Korea

See also:

Open letter to United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour (in .pdf).