Country Listing: Republic of Korea
Case Number: SK9417.Ahn
Human Rights Issues
South Korean mathematician and prisoner of conscience Ahn Jae-ku, was arrested on 14 June 1994 by agents from the Agency for National Security Planning (ANSP) along with his son and approximately twenty-five others due to alleged pro-North Korean activities. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on 30 November 1994.
Ahn Jae-ku, formerly a professor at Kyuonghee University, was charged with establishing an "anti-state" organization, the National Front for the Salvation of the Fatherland, with the alleged purpose of spying for North Korea. Despite the prosecutor's call for the death penalty, Ahn Jae-ku was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was reportedly interrogated for twenty consecutive days following his arrest, at which time he was subjected to sleep deprivation and psychological pressure to sign a confession. Since that time, he has been held in harsh conditions that have contributed to his declining health. He is currently held at Taegu Prison and is only allowed two fifteen minute visits per month by family members.
(Sources of information include the Committee of Concerned Scientists, Amnesty International, and MINKAHYUP Human Rights Group in Seoul.)
Relevant International Treaty Articles
The arrest and long-term imprisonment of Ahn Jae-ku constitute clear violations of international human rights standards, including those listed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. These rights include:
As a State Party, the Republic of Korea is legally obligated to uphold the rights and freedoms listed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ratified by the Republic of Korea on 10 April 1990).