<국제/영문판>IADL/COLAP fact-finding commission releases final report on “Waitresses Case”(3-10)

북,'12 식당 여종업원 납치사건, 국제민주, 아,태 연합변호사협회의 사실확인 최종보고서 제1차 원본연재 (제3편)

프레스아리랑 | 기사입력 2019/11/20 [13:59]

<국제/영문판>IADL/COLAP fact-finding commission releases final report on “Waitresses Case”(3-10)

북,'12 식당 여종업원 납치사건, 국제민주, 아,태 연합변호사협회의 사실확인 최종보고서 제1차 원본연재 (제3편)

프레스아리랑 | 입력 : 2019/11/20 [13:59]

 

 

 Continue from part (2-10)

 IADL/COLAP fact-finding commission releases final report on “Waitresses Case” 

 8 October 2019

 

Map illustrating the division of Korea and the armistice line of the Korean War, still unresolved.

 

 

An International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) and the Confederation of Lawyers of Asia and the Pacific (COLAP) fact-finding commission released the final report of its delegation to Korea on 30 September 2019.

 

The fact-finding commission’s work centered on the case of 12 young women, citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (frequently referred to as North Korea). This case is well-known in Korean media as the “Waitresses case.” The 12 women were allegedly trafficked from their work at the Ryukyeong Korean Restaurant in Ningbo, China, via Malaysia, to Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea (referred to as South Korea.) The women’s families and representatives of the DPRK have stated that the women were kidnapped against their will with the involvement of South Korean intelligence agencies.

The fact-finding commission consisted of Jun Sasomoto, General Secretary of the Confederation of Lawyers for Asia and the Pacific; Micol Savia, permanent representative of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers at the United Nations in Geneva; and Niloufer Bhagwat, Vice President of the Confederation of
Lawyers of Asia and the Pacific. It followed up on the work of a preparatory committee, which consisted of Sasamoto, Savia, and veteran French lawyer Roland Weyl, First Vice President of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.

Read the full report below or download the PDF here.

 Continue from (part 2-10) 

13 

was held at the Office of the High  Commissioner of Human Rights at Seoul,

and  lasted for an hour and ten minutes. The record of the meeting discloses

that the  two young women informed the Special Rapporteur , Mr. Quintana, 

that they were brought to South Korea against their will  by deception ,  that the

plan was initiated by the National Intelligence Service of South Korea in

conspiracy with their Manager, as the alleged defection was  used just before

the national  election and a statement was made by the spokesman of the

government of the Republic of Korea immediately after  their arrival  that they

had politically defected.  As per the summary of the meeting held, the two

young women demanded a thorough investigation of the manner in which they

had been brought to Seoul. The  two young women  explained to the Special

UN Rapporteur  that they were  being  compelled to live in South Korea,

forcibly separated from their families, being made to conceal their  identities  to

avoid discrimination in South Korean society, and that the matter should be

investigated and the plot exposed and those involved punished. The Special

Rapporteur, according to the record of the meeting maintained by the Task

Force of the Minbyun lawyers, inquired from the two young women whether

they were ready for immediate repatriation to North Korea; the reply of the

young women to this question was:” if the South Korean government carries

out the thorough investigation and admits their responsibility it will work out

fine.” The young women as per the record, made the following appeal to the

14 

Special Rapporteur: “think of us as daughters and family when you approach

the issue “. When asked by Mr. Quintana about   the opinion of the other ten

women they stated that:” If the truth is revealed the other restaurant employees

will have a press interview and or a meeting with the UN officials and have

courage with us.”

 This interview of the two young women and the Manager Heo Jang –il with

the Special Rapporteur, was reported on in the media in South Korea and by the

International media. including the New York Times. The Committee has the

press reports of this interview in its records of the case. 

 F. The New York Times report of the case is similar to the JTBC Television

interview of the Manager and the four young women, and to the summary of

the record of the interview with Mr. Quintana by the Task Force of Minbyun

lawyers. In the report in the New York Times, the UN Special Rapporteur Mr.

Qintana has referred to the young women as “victims”, stating that they had

been subjected to “deceit”. Mr. Quintana as per this report stated:  “when I say

victims. …I am referring to some kind of deceit in regard to where they were

going “………“that if they were taken against their will from China, that may

be considered a crime.”Mr. Quintana it is reported   stressed, that “It was the

duty and responsibility of the South Korean government to investigate these

claims.”

15  

G. The Joint Fact Finding Committee requested for an interview with the

National Human Rights Commission of the Republic of Korea, as it was

essential for the Committee to investigate whether the National Human Rights

Commission   had drawn up a report. The  documents on  record indicated that

the National Human Rights Commission had been first apprised of the case  on 

July 11, 2016, when the Task Force of the Minbyun  Lawyers of South Korea 

urged a proper investigation by the Human Rights Commission  of the

Republic of Korea, on the denial of their request by the National Intelligence

Service  to   interview the victims and to  ascertain from them reasons for their

detention and the conditions under which they were kept at the detention centre.

The Task Force reported to the National Human Rights Commission, that the

12 young women were not   permitted to meet independent legal Counsel, 

   Thereafter to the knowledge of the National Human Rights Commission of

the Republic of Korea , the JTBC Corporation ‘s TV Channel in May 2018  

interviewed the Manager and four  young women, representative of the group

of 12 , giving details of the conspiracy . This was followed by the Manager and

two young women meeting the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in

North Korea. The UN Special Rapporteur stated during a press interview at

Seoul: “it is the duty and responsibility of the government to conduct an

investigation and report the true facts of the case.”

16  

     The Secretary General of the National Human Rights Commission of South

Korea , Young –Sun Cho,  promptly granted an interview to the Joint Fact

Finding Committee on 26th August 2019 .The  interaction was cordial and  the

meeting held  for   an hour at the office of the National Human Rights

Commission. Members of   the Joint Fact Finding Committee addressed several

questions to the Secretary General of the National Human Rights Commission

and to Yongguk Kim, head of the Investigation Bureau of the National Human

Rights Commission, who was also present at the meeting along with an

interpreter.

The National Human Rights Commission of the Republic of Korea (South

Korea), did not deny that the report of the National Human Rights Commission

on the impugned issue,  a matter of public and national concern,  had been

delayed, as  the incident took place in 2016 and  there was no report as of

August 2016 , on the date the Committee interacted with National Human

Rights Commission .The Secretary General   further  stated  that the report was

ready,  but not published,  and that it would be published in the near future. The

Joint Fact Finding Committee other than the reference to the delay in the report

and the reply of the Secretary General on this aspect, is not disclosing other

questions addressed and a few answers given by the National Human Rights

Commission of South Korea and the head of the Investigation Bureau, as the

Secretary General requested the members of the Joint Fact Finding Committee

17 

to maintain confidentiality.  The joint fact finding committee has only disclosed 

in this report that the Secretary General of the National Human Rights

Commission  conceded  that the report was delayed , as this was already widely

known in South Korea, and is   not   a matter of any confidentiality or secrecy . 

 H.  It was necessary for the Joint Fact Finding Committee to confirm   with

Lee Kyu-Yeon  , anchor of the JTBC Corporation Television,  the interview of 

the Manager, Heo Gang –il  and  four  young women restaurant employees  on 

the ‘Spotlight’ program ; and to record the statement of  Bong Ji-wook , the

courageous Reporter, who had  investigated and unraveled the detailed facts of

the case , on the basis of which the anchor  interviewed  the Manager and four

young women restaurant employees.  The meeting took   place on  August, 27,

2019, at the office of the JTBC Corporation. The Committee questioned the

anchor and reporter separately.

     The anchor of the Spotlight program of the JTBC Corporation confirmed

that in view of the national importance of the case, the Manager and four of the

young women out of the group of 12 were interviewed by the JTBC

Corporation on May 10 2018, after the Reporter Bong Ji-wook had thoroughly

investigated the case. The anchor of the Spotlight program of the JTBC

highlighted, that the young women who were brought to Seoul had been

permitted no communication or contact with their families; that it was a human

18 

rights issue, though for partisan political purposes it was sought to be projected

as a North Korea Versus South Korea issue. The  government of the Republic

of Korea ( South Korea ) had failed to address the wider issues,  namely that

the 12 young women had been brought to Seoul by deceiving them  and the

NIS and Manager  were involved;  that the 12 young women  has been   cut off

from all contact and interaction with  their families . Organizations at Seoul had

led candle light processions among other demonstration, and urged the

government of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) to repatriate the young

women to North Korea to reunite them with their families. The joint fact

finding committee was informed by  Lee Kyu –Yeon, anchor  of the Spotlight

program ,  that the government of the Republic of Korea’s  position  on the case 

was ambiguous for political reasons , despite the truth  being known ;  as it was

the  government’s  perception ,   that the  right wing parties would use it as a

political tool against the liberal  government of President Moon Jae-in ,  despite

the  facts of the case  and  the truth as disclosed  in the ’Spotlight’ program .

      The Joint Fact Finding Committee after recording the statement of the

anchor of the ‘Spotlight’ program of JTBC, questioned    Reporter Bong Ji

wook who had painstakingly investigated the case, at the JTBC headquarters.

The reporter  disclosed that  he was first alerted about this  case by an official

of the government of the Republic of Korea, three months after the arrival  of

the 12 young women  at Seoul, and confidentially informed  that there was

19 

something more behind the facts of this  case; that is  other than the official 

version of  the Ministry of Unification,  and that the 12 young women  had not

come voluntarily to Seoul. It took some time for the Reporter to locate the

Manager, Heo Gang-il, to begin the investigations. It was necessary to wait

patiently for the Manager to co-operate. The reason   the Manager was finally

willing to reveal the truth, was because of the failure of the National

Intelligence Service of the Republic of Korea, to keep its promises of payment

and other assurances given to the Manager, in   consideration for the Manager

cooperating with them in abducting the 12 young women restaurant employees

and bringing them to Seoul, as directed by the NIS, to make political use of

them before the parliamentary elections. After the parliamentary elections and

the  formation of a  new  government, and after  the impeachment of President

Park Gyen-hye , and the imprisonment of two previous heads of the National

Intelligence Services of the Republic of Korea including one who had

functioned as Secretary to President Park  Geun-hye ( on a charge of

defalcation of National Intelligence Funds  unrelated to this case ) ; the

Manager  began co-operating with the Reporter and revealed   the real  facts

behind the 12 young women being brought to Seoul , disclosing  that the

Manager was ordered  by officials of   the National Intelligence Service of

South Korea  with whom he had started co-operating in China , to bring all the

young women  restaurant employees to Seoul by deceiving them , before the

20 

national  elections. Obeying this  diktat , the Manager  brought the 12 young

women restaurant employees  from China to Malaysia, and then to Seoul , by

giving  the young women restaurant employees working at the Ryekyeong

Korean restaurant at Ningbo , China ,  the  explanation that the team was

required  to set up a new Korean  restaurant at Malaysia,  on the instructions of 

the concerned higher authorities in the DPRK. In  view of the hierarchical

relations between the restaurant employees and the Manager,  organized in a

team as per the practice in North Korea, and because the Manager  held their

passports , the  young women restaurant employees believed the Manager; and

it was in these circumstances the Manager and the 12 young women left

Ningbo, on   April  5 , 2016  and  arrived at Seoul on April  7,  2016 ,  via the

South Korean embassy at Malaysia, who were in the loop and immediately 

issued the 12 young women and the Manager  travel documents for onward

travel to  Seoul,  on their arrival at the South Korean embassy at Malaysia . It

took two days for the group to arrive at Seoul. The  Ministry of Unification was 

already  ready with the  official statement   on April 8, 2016,  falsely  stating

that the 12 young women restaurant employees  had collectively “ politically

defected” from North  to South Korea .

      The Reporter  informed the Joint Fact Finding Committee that a secure

place and time had to be arranged for interviewing the four   young women ,

who were ready to give the interview as they desperately desired to return to

 

(will be continue)

 

September 30, 2019  

Jun Sasomoto   Secretary General of the Confederation of Lawyers for Asia and the Pacific.   

 

 Micol Savia  

IADL representative to the United Nations in Geneva 

 

(Present as part of the preparatory delegation in May 24- 27, 2019 and for investigation at Seoul between August 26 - August 30, 2019) 

  

Niloufer Bhagwat 

Vice President   

Confederation of Lawyers for Asia and the Pacific    

 

닉네임 패스워드 도배방지 숫자 입력
제목  
내용
기사 내용과 관련이 없는 글, 욕설을 사용하는 등 타인의 명예를 훼손하는 글은 관리자에 의해 예고 없이 임의 삭제될 수 있으므로 주의하시기 바랍니다.
 
북 바로알기 TV
북 바로알기 TV - 4) 평양봄철국제상품전람회
메인사진
북 바로알기 TV - 4) 평양봄철국제상품전람회
  • 썸네일
  • 썸네일
  • 썸네일
  • 썸네일
  • 썸네일
  • 썸네일