South Korea: Stop the imprisonment of conscientious objectors!

On 15th of May 2018, in front of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Berlin/Germany 

Korea is a divided nation. The tensions with North Korea, ever since the end of the Korean War 1953, are the reason for high militarization in South Korea. The country has a population of 50 million people and an army that consists of 650.000 men and women, which is the fifth biggest army in the world. At the same time, South Korea is an economic power in East Asia and an ally of the USA. All men are liable to military service and have to serve between 21 and 24 months. Anyone who goes against this has to pay a high price.

Currently, about 300 conscientious objectors in South Korea are in custody. Generally, they are convicted for up to 18 months. Since several years, the organization World Without War campaigns to put an end to the prosecution in South Korea and to acknowledge the human right to conscientious objection, until now with no success.

Multiple cases of conscientious objectors are pending at the constitutional court because the judges refuse to convict them. The Korean human rights commission sees the conscientious objection as a general human right. Even the president; Moon Jae-in, promised to find a solution during his election campaign.

Therefore, we want to support the conscientious objectors in South Korea with an extraordinary campaign on the international day of conscientious objection and demand their immediate release and to accept their conscientious objection.

Arbeitskreis Internationalismus IG Metall, Connection e.V., Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft – Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen (DFG-VK) Berlin-Brandenburg, Deutsche Ostasien Mission (DOAM), Ev. Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kriegsdienstverweigerer für Frieden (EAK), International Peace Bureau (IPB), Internationale der Kriegsdienstgegner*innen (IDK), Korea Verband, Mennonitisches Friedenszentrum Berlin

Photos of the event can be found on their website.