Korea: UNI Global Union urges President Moon to release Han Sang-gyun
Uni Global Union has welcomed commitments from newly-elected Korean President Moon Jae-in over workers’ rights, decent wages and job security. Along with the ITUC, UNI Global Union urges the new President to release imprisoned trade union leader Han Sang-gyun, President of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions.
We are asking for your support to send a letter to the new Korean President Moon Jae-in for the immediate release of Brother Han San-gyun, President of KCTU who is still serving his 3-year sentence. Please fill in the model letter (attached below) to President Moon via Im Jong-seok, Presidential Chief of Staff, and Cho Kuk, Secretary of Civil Affairs by email (firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com) and a copy to the Korean embassy in your country.
On 25 April 2017, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared Han’s imprisonment was arbitrary and his immediate release is the only remedy. The Supreme Court however maintained his conviction on 31 May. The choice now is in the hands of the new President to grant a pardon to Han on 15 August, the National Liberation Day of Korea.
Moon was elected after former President Park Geun-hye was deposed over a massive corruption case involving scandal-plagued multinational Samsung, in which she is now facing prosecution.
UNI Global Union General Secretary said, “President Moon has made it clear that he wants to build a country based on respect for human and labour rights – we urge him to show his commitment to these values by releasing Brother Han Sang-gyun.”
“Together with the ITUC, we call upon President Moon to take the opportunity to step in and secure his release.”
Following a meeting with President Moon in Seoul, ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said : “As a former human rights and labour lawyer, President Moon campaigned for a ‘nation that respects labour’. He reiterated his plans for Korea to ratify ILO Conventions 87 on freedom of association and 98 on collective bargaining, and these, along with his commitment to raise the minimum wage to ensure dignified lives for Korean workers, will lay the foundations for respect for the workers on which the national economy depends.
“His recognition that irregular work is not decent work is crucial in a country where workers are forced to accept precarious jobs, and his understanding that the right to organise for teachers and public-sector workers are issues that need to be resolved, gives working people hope.
President Han Sang-gyun of the KCTU was honoured with UNI Global Union’s Freedom from Fear award in 2016 in recognition of his spirit of defiance and leadership.