Campaign for jailed publisher
An international campaign in solidarity with South Korean publisher Ilbung Choe is being stepped up with the launch of an international petition. Choe was jailed for two years in October merely for publishing books the government disapproves of.
Upon taking office, the new president of South Korea, Kim Young Sam, granted a broad amnesty to several thousand prisoners, including several political prisoners. However, this has not been extended to Ilbung Choe.
The petition, initiated by the Committee for the Liberation of Ilbung Choe, already has pledges of support from several members of national parliaments and of the European Parliament.
The petition urges the president to grant amnesty to Choe, who, "to the best of our knowledge, has never engaged in any activity that would be reprehensible by the standards common to all countries respecting human rights". It concludes with an appeal to grant amnesty to any person imprisoned for expressing political ideas critical of the Korean government.