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

SOUTH KOREA: Release 5 detainees now!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

skorea_candlight_vigil.jpgFORUM-ASIA has issued a statement to express its deep concerns over the arrest of five South Korean human rights defenders for violating the Act on Assembly and Demonstrations on 6 November. The court subsequently issued a preventive detention order on 8 November 2008, and denied them bail.

To date, 32 other civil society organizations, in Asia and beyond have endorsed this statement.

The five – Mr.Park Won-Suk, Mr. Han Yong-jin, Mr. Baek Sung-Kyun, Mr. Kim Dong-Kyu, and Mr. Kwon Hye-jin – were charged for obstructing official businesses, and disturbing public transportation. The five were allegedly key organizers of the candle light vigils against the lifting of the trade restrictions on the importation of US beef in May 2008.

Mr. Park Won-Suk is a member of the People’s Solidarity for Peace and Democracy (PSPD), a member organization of FORUM-ASIA based in Seoul.
FORUM-ASIA believes that the arrest of the activists demonstrates the increasing efforts of the government to stifle criticism and silence dissent.

FORUM-ASIA is also concerned that the detained human rights defenders, except for Mr. Kwon Hye-jin, were not appraised their Miranda rights at the time of their arrests.
This recent incident seem to support the findings by FORUM ASIA’s Joint Fact-Finding Mission to South Korea1 with the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in April 2008.

The purpose of the fact finding mission was to examine the violations against human rights defenders in the light of the candlelight vigils held against US beef imports.
The fact finding mission strongly recommended that the government review and amend the Act on Assembly and Demonstration, particularly Article 10, which prohibits public assemblies after sunset and before sunrise.

On 9 October 2008, a request was made by the Seoul Central District Court to the South Korean Constitutional Court to look into the abovementioned provision. Human rights organizations welcomed this request as it is viewed as a step towards the amendment of the said provision. FORUM-ASIA joined the human rights organizations in South Korea in calling on the government to cease arrests under this Act pending the deliberations at the Constitutional Court.

FORUM ASIA also calls on the Korean government to respect the right to protest of human rights defenders, which includes the right to freely express one’s opinions and to freely assemble. The right to protest is vital in the work of human rights defenders since this allows them to speak the truth and to promote and protect the principles of human rights.

FORUM-ASIA strongly urges the Korean government to release Mr.Park Won-Suk, Mr. Han Yong-jin, Mr. Baek Sung-Kyun, Mr. Kim Dong Kyu and Mr. Kwon Hye-jin and cease any further arrests of any other human rights defender under the Act on Assembly and Demonstration.

The Korean government must also amend the Act on Assembly and Demonstration, particularly Article 10, to demonstrate its sincerity in promoting and protecting human rights in the country.

Read the full statement HERE .


For further information, please contact:

Ms. Emerlynne Gil, Programme Manager of the Human Rights Defenders Programme at [email protected].