This week, on Thursday 9 November 2017, South Korea’s human rights record will be under the spotlight at the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review. An event has thus been organised by MH Group at the UN Human Rights Council to consider the current human rights situation in South Korea, with special reference to the much publicised trial and detention of ex-President Park Geun-hye (see details below).
This trial is in many ways a test case for the new government. Yet, the national authorities have regrettably fallen very far short of what is expected by the UN’s international standards. Ms Park remains in detention despite her well-founded requests for provisional release, her deteriorating health for which she is not receiving proper medical care, her inhuman and degrading treatment in jail, and the fact that her entire defence team have now resigned in protest over the unfair handling of the case.
The international legal team on behalf of ex-President Park is therefore calling on the UN Human Rights Council urgently to examine these violations and to direct the South Korean authorities to release Ms Park without delay. The opportunity must not be missed this week to get this matter on the agenda and resolved. It is vital that individual human rights are guaranteed at every level regardless of position, status or political views in South Korea and in particular in the trials of political opponents following the change in government.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is presently seized of an urgent application from MH Group and the international legal team. Further medical and other evidence has recently been submitted to the Working Group. It is urged to investigate the situation as rapidly as possible, to visit Ms Park in detention with an independent medical doctor, and to direct the authorities to release her while her trial continues under any necessary conditions.