April 10th, Ignoring the Court's Judge, the Government
Illegally Attacked Daewoo Workers

Dear Friends,

This is Daewoo Joint Struggle Headquarters in Korea. I'm so sorry that I send the 6th newsletter very late. 
Recently, Daewoo Struggle becomes very urgent. The government has been in hurry to sell Daewoo Motors to GM, with ignoring workers and people' struggle.

Still, the Kim Dae-jung Government blockades the Worker's Office in Pupyung Daewoo Motors Factory. However the Court judged that the Government's blocking the office is absolutely illegal on April 6th. The government ignores even the court's judgement.

April 10th, the riot policemen of the Kim Dae-jung Government attacked the workers very forcibly. They just requested in front of the factory that they enter the worker's office. In the process, a lot of workers were hurted very severely. A lot of blood were spreaded on the street by the police's violence. More details are as follows.

There are three text and several pictures in this newsletter.

1. Daewoo workers were brutally attacked by the police. April 11th.
2. Press Conference of Human Rights Organizations
3. The infringement upon human rights at Daewoo Motors - Principal Case

In solidarity
Daewoo Motors Joint Struggle Headquarters

<Daewoo workers were brutally attacked by the police.>

10, April, Daewoo Motor workers were brutally attacked by the police and bloodily injured. You can see a lot of pictures in a web page.

To see the pictures, go to this page, and click the picture for enlarged one.

To see the video, go to this adress.

To get more information, go to this site.

How can we ignore this human right abuse? The President of South Korea, Kim Dae-Joong received Nobel peace prize for his life long dedication to improve human rights in South Korea. He is known to the world as the Nelson Mandela of Korea, but now he is beating his people. He vowed that he wont allow any illegal action of labor union worker while allowing legal actions. But his government crack down the workers protest violating laws.

This is what happened.

10, April, in Inchon, west of Seoul, the police attacked workers. 39 union members are injured, and 12 of them are hospitalized.
The Union's lawyer is also beaten by the police, and his pelvis is broken.
But the police blame workers, and arrested 21 workers.

Although the court judged that Daewoo Motor's sacked union members have the right to come into the union office, the police banned access of workers to their office, and took a bloody action to attack 300 workers who lied on the street in topless to protest illegal police action.

It took place at 1:30 PM. The neighbors were shocked with the violent action against lying workers. A worker, Kim's ligament of left leg is cut, and Yoo's ribs are broken and hurt a lung. One's leg is broken, another's hands are broken, and another can't speak because of the shock. Tens of workers were bleeding, beaten by the police.

Since the police crack-down of sit-in strike in February, unionists were banned to access the union office, located in the factory. It was illegal action because the sacked worker had right to visit their office, so they went to the court. 6, April, the court judged the police action is illegal, so sacked unionist could come into union office. 
9, April a court messenger, the lawyer, and hundreds of workers tried to come into office, but the police was still banning them. After some hours of arguing, the lawyer and 17 worker could come into the office, and saw the office is totally empty. The police took every thing from the office.
The next day the police of Inchon city blocked the Daewoo workers to come into the union office again and took the bloody action against workers.

Daewoo Motor workers went to strike against mass layoffs since 17, February.
The government and banks were trying to sell off the ill company to foreign car makers, and fired 1750 worker for the restructuring to attract the only possible buyer, General Motor. But the sacked workers have been resisting to come back to work. Recently the police used much violence to ban workers protests and, there are many reports of human rights and labor right abuses.

South Korean government has to stop the violent attack on Daewoo workers, and punish the police officers who are responsible for the action. 
We are in solidarity with Daewoo Motor's sacked workers for their struggle to keep their right to live.

<Press Conference of Human Rights Organizations>


On February 17 this year 1,750 workers of Daewoo Motor were laid off. Kim Woo-choong, the very man who made Daewoo Motor debt-ridden through agressive expansion on borrowed money, has been in continuous hiding abroad, and none of the economic officials of the government, who didn't fulfill its duty to lead the right management of the businesses, wants to take the responsibility for this urgent situation. Only the workers are taking the responsibility for the bankrupt company and getting laid off. They are robbed of their right to survive. How can they express their unfair treatment? They don't deserve this unjust treatment. First, we, Human Rights Organizations, want to appeal to the people's compassion. Second, we strongly rebuke the government for violently suppressing the workers' struggle to survive.

The workers's struggle, rallies, or demonstrations against massive layoffs were not something that would threaten the society or put it in danger, on the contrary, they were the weak have-not's pitifully expressing themselves. In the process workers had to be confronted by riot police. They had to experience violent oppression and human rights abuse. Violence and human rights abuse by riot police were like an adult twisting the arm of a little kid. Now we can not but ask ¡°Why should we pay tax for violent riot police?"

We made thorough examination on rallies and demonstrations and collected numerous cases of violence and human rights abuse by riot police. We came to doubt if our police, who should protect the people, are qualified or have any intention to protect human rights and exercise the law in a fair and just way. Since riot police raided Bupyeong plant on February 19, police have been deployed in the train stations, the roads, subway exits, public offices all over Bupyeong. Also illegal checkups have been extensively committed. Police have been checking up passers-by and taking even innocent citizen to police stations whether they joined the rallies or not. In its process, police poured insulting words, called innocent citizen names. We were reported that even one disabled passerby was surrounded by a group of police and got assaulted by them.

Police's excessive suppression of workers who tried to demonstrate their intention peacefully was unprecedented. One man picket demonstration by workers ended up all picket demonstrators getting rounded up by police. One man picket demonstrtion is often used by celebrities even in front of Chongwadae(Blue House), president's residence. Even those who did not join in active protests were rounded up. Police even used violence against children and were so cruel as to abort a baby by brutally catching a pregnant woman, wife of a laid-off man.

Now we should talk about inhumane treatment of the arrested people including workers, families and citizen. Investigators threatened the arrested, who exercised their right of silence, with detention. They also intimidated the arrested into making a statement the way wanted by the police. They made the arrested meet visitors with handcuffs on. They searched the arrested naked or just in underwear. These kinds of human rights abuse have been found in so many cases that we can not list them all.

These excessive actions by police were not reasonable, or necessary for the investigation. They went to extremes just in order to humiliate, insult the arrested. We can not but define their unimaginable actions as the mean challenge to human dignity.

It is often said that workers demonstrate violently. Well, it is true that demonstrations have been accompanied by violence. It's a pity. But please listen! It is violence by police who, armed with shields and helmets, wield batons and throw rocks to people with no protecting device that really cause serious casualties. It's obvious to everybody. If armed police throw rocks to protesters because demonstrations use violence, the police are not civil servants any more but coward hooligans.

Lastly we want to make it clear that demonstrations are made violent by the government. If the government deprives workers, whose right to survive are threatened, of their right to express their miserable situations, rallies and demonstrations become illegal and violent. The only way to prevent violence of Bupyeong workers is to guarantee them their constitutional rights to peaceful rallies and demonstrations. The government, who restricts these rights, should take responsibility for all the results of violent protests and suppressions.

We, 9 human rights organizations, hereby demand the followings of the government and the police authority;

1. Government should overhaul all the violence and human rights abuse, related to Daewoo Motor's mass layoffs, committed by police since February 19 and punish the responsible police.
1. Immediately withdraw the police deployed throughout Bupyeong.
1. Guarantee Daewoo Motor workers their rights to peaceful rallies and demonstrations.

March 19, 2001

<The infringement upon human rights at Daewoo Motors - Principal Case >

This is the summery of principle cases on 'an investigation report on the actual condition of an infringement upon human rights at Daewoo Motor'. For more deatails, refer to the main report. This report is a result of a survey based on an interview with the union members of Daewoo Motor and their families(about 120) by the SARANGBANG Group for human rights(chief Suh Joon-sik) and KHIS(Korean House for International Solidarity, co-chief Lee Hae-dong) from March 9th to 13th.

1. A haphazard arrestment at Pupyong subway station
On February 24th, near 2:30 p.m., while Lim Jae-hawn(32) was waiting at the platform for a subway to see a dentist, two combat policemen took him to the Keyang police station without a notice. They did not identify their names, regiment, as well as a reason. Despite Lim inquired the reason over and over, they made no reply. Furthermore, the police detective at Keyang police station recklessly insisted that Lim cried a slogan and sang a song, and he also forced Lim to make a statement. They imprisoned Lim for 5 hours and treated him with a high hand.
2. An arrestment for carring a mimeographed copy
Around 2:10 p.m. February 28th, when Lee Jeung-seup(32) got though a ticket gate and walked on the sidewalk in Dong-Inchon subway station, he was taken by two combat policemen for a sole reason that he had a leaflet. The police investigated him at the Central Police Station, and dismissed him with a caution at 7:10 p.m..

3. Arrested laborers at table
Around 11:45 a.m. February 22, Kang Jae-soo(a member of Kyongnammetal labor union) and other 14 Kyongnam laborers was eating lunch at the Honam snack bar, located at the back of Pupyong station. Suddenly, combat policemen rushed in without a notice and demanded to them to show their identification. The whole laborers were taken to the Pupyong police station and notified that they had been caught in the act of crime. Thereafter all the labors were transported to the Yonsu police station and unbound by lawyers who had an interview with them at 6:10 p.m.

-The facst above mentions that the police did not arrest the demonstrators according to the formalities prescribed by law, but randomly arrested the laborers who surround the place. It's obvious that arresting civilians who were not directly related in the act of demonstration, but simply because they were making a protest, or simply because they carried a leaflet is illegal.

4. A haphazard inspection without legal procedures
 At Pupyong, combat policemen who deployed in several parts of the city and plainclothes men who laid in ambush around Sangok church inspect and raid laborers at any time. Policemen who were questioning disregard the law of performance for their duties(prescribing investment procedures; notifying his name, position and an investment reason). They compelled laborers to display their I.D. In particular, when a police inspect a vehicle, he recklessly searched the vehicle ignoring the persons denial. Basically, when a police inspect a vehicle, he suppose to possess a warrant for a seizure.

5.Frisking with nothing on
In the early morning 8th March Pack Duck-jae(52) showed force in silence alone having a picket on the sidewalk in front of the main entrance of Daewoo Pupyong factory. About 6:15 a.m. in the middle of demonstration he was under arrest and was removed to the Eastern police station. When he was sent to a police cell, police made him does 'seat-down&stand-up' 3 times as he was only underwear.
He was handcuffed at the visiting hours and set free after the lapse of 35 hours.

6.Arrested woman lost unborn child
Lee Ok-sun was arrested by six or seven riot policemen in March 7th Attendance struggle at Backwun park at 9:30 a.m. Policewomen dragged her taking fast hold of arms, legs and the breast and grabbed her by the hair.
Lee, was early pregnant, miscarried an unborn child at 16. March

April 10th, 2001 Pictures on the spot - Daewoo Struggle