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[Statement]

 

The leader of People Power Party, Lee Jun-seok, will be engraved as humiliation in international human rights history

 

“It should be actively intervened (by the police and the Seoul Metro), the absurdity that taking hostage of millions of Seoul citizens by the protest of the persons with disabilities”

“It(the protest of the Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination, SADD) is uncivilised, illegal demonstration”

“The greatest danger of minority politics is that creating a sanctuary and blocking any objection to it”

 

These are what the leader of the People Power Party of South Korea, a soon-to-be ruling party, Lee Jun-Seok has said on Facebook several times over the past four days in response to the protest by the SADD. SADD has been organised a protest of taking the subway every morning demanding civil rights of the disabled people, including the right to mobility that has been shouted for 21 years. We strongly condemn Lee Jun-Seok, who is responsible for protecting and strengthening the values of democracy stipulated in the Constitution, publicly expressing his hatred and oppression towards the rights of disabled citizens.

 

Lee said that the protest should be stopped even using public enforcement, and this idea has already faced a lot of criticism in Korea. Another thing to remember is that it is a serious violation of international human rights norms. 

 

The General Comment on Article 21 of the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights, which Korea joined 32 years ago, declares that “Peaceful assemblies can in some cases be inherently or deliberately disruptive and require a significant degree of toleration” and “the States parties should not rely on a vague definition of “public order” to justify overbroad restrictions on the right of peaceful assembly.” It also clarified that “the prohibition of ‘public disorder’ in domestic law should not be used unduly to restrict peaceful assemblies. Therefore, Lee's remarks, who hastily argued for the intervention to the freedom of assembly just because it "causes inconvenience to citizens," contradict the Convention. 

 

Non-discrimination is the core of international human rights standards and a fundamental right particularly emphasized in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. According to this principle, disabled people should have equal access to transportation as everyone else. Article 9 of the UNCRPD states that States Parties should take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others(…) to other facilities and services open or provided to the public.”

 

The Convention also clarifies that the right to mobility is the prerequisite for all other civil rights and that the States Parties shall ensure this. And the basic spirit of the Convention is that there must be consultation with Disabled people’s organisations when fulfilling these obligations. The attitude that Lee should have taken towards the protest is not a criticism, but dialogue and promise. 

 

Lee Jun-Seok's series of remarks revealed his ignorance of international human rights norms and his inability to represent a political party of a democratic country, which has a grave responsibility to promote human rights. Lee denies international human rights norms that humanity has achieved through blood and sweat over hundreds of years of history. If these mistakes are not corrected right away, Lee Jun-Seok will be engraved as a shame in human rights history. 


 

2022.3.30.

 

Korean Disability Forum

 

Corporation "Nodeul"

Disability and Human Rights in Action("FootAct")

Disability Discrimination Act of Solidarity in Korea

Jangjigong

Korea Council of Centers for Independent Living

Korea Differently Abled Federation

Korea Solidarity for Human rights of disability people with Brain lesion

Korean Alliance for Mobilizing Inclusion

Korean Parents' Network for the People with Disabilities

National Council of Popular School for People with Disability

Nodeul Independent Living Centre for the Disabled

Open Network

Rehabilitation International Korea

Research Institute for Disability Rights

Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination

Women with Disabilities Empathy


 


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