The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on
authorities in South Korea
to immediately release YTN union chairman Jong-Myun Roh, who has been detained for
10 days since being arrested ahead of strike action at the broadcaster.
arrested on March 22, the day before YTN staff were due to take strike action
as part of their long campaign to secure guarantees of editorial independence
at the broadcaster. Three other union members arrested on the same day were
to the Journalists’ Association of Korea (JAK), an IFJ affiliate, Roh
was transferred yesterday to a detention facility near Seoul.
Roh is expected to lodge a request today for a
"review of legality for confinement". His legal team has been joined
by Byung-Hun Min, a renowned Seoul District Court judge who retired this month.
A court decision is expected by tomorrow night.
the YTN strike today entered its ninth day. The strike comes amid an eight-month campaign by YTN workers
to defend editorial independence at the broadcaster, following last year’s
appointment of Gu Bon-Hong as YTN president. The appointment of Gu, who
previously worked as an aide to President Myung-Bak Lee, has raised concerns
about potential political influence on the broadcaster.
“The IFJ calls for Jong-Myun Roh to be released immediately.
To detain a union leader for 10 days without charge only increases the concerns
of the IFJ and other international organisations about the manner in which the
authorities and YTN managers are dealing with a dispute centred on the right of
media workers to organise around the defence of press freedom,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
again, the IFJ urges YTN’s management to seek constructive dialogue with YTN
staff representatives, and to show respect for the workers’ right to express their
concerns about the broadcaster’s independence.”
The IFJ will support the staff at YTN in preparing a
petition to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression to
highlight the manner in which Roh’s arrest and continuing detention violate
international standards of freedom of the press, freedom of expression and
freedom of assembly.
For the IFJ’s recommendations on a resolution to the
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide